Tullow to Conduct Well-Testing in Chew Bahir

The British oil company prospecting for oil in East and West Africa, Tullow Oil, is to conduct well-testing in the Shimela exploration well being drilled near Chew Bahir. Tullow’s drilling crew started drilling the exploration well located in the Hamer and Bena Tsemay Weredas of the South Omo zone last March. An interim management report released early this week says that the Shimela-1 well is expected to reach a total depth this month. “In Ethiopia, the focus of drilling operations has moved to the Chew Bahir basin where the Shimela-1 exploration well commenced drilling in March with the well expected to reach its total depth in May,” the reports says. Reliable sources told The Reporter that the drilling crew would conduct well- testing in the coming few weeks that will enable them to determine if there was oil accumulation in the area. Sources said that the seismic data collected from the Chew Bahir basin indicates positive results, adding that there is a high probability of discovering oil in the Shimela well.

“With high-impact well results expected in the coming months from new and existing basins in Kenya, Ethiopia, Gabon and Norway, there is much to look forward to for the remainder of the year and beyond,” Aidan Heavey, chief executive officer at Tullow Oil, said Tullow is planning to drill another exploration well in the Chew Bahir basin this year. This well, named Gardim-1, will be Tullow’s fourth exploration well in Ethiopia.

A recent report prepared by Tullow indicated that the company and its partners have completed a 1,174 kilometer 2D seismic program in the Chew Bahir basin in the eastern portion of the South Omo Block. According to the report, the survey identified a number of prospects and leads. The report said the Shimela prospect has been identified as the first well in the area and is expected to spud in 2014. A second well location is also being considered for 2014.

The South Omo Block is located in the northern portion of the Tertiary East African Rift trend where Tullow Oil and its partners have made five significant oil discoveries in Northern Kenya. The Company and its partners on the South Omo Block spudded the Sabisa-1 well in January 2013 and the well was drilled to a preliminary total depth of 1,810 meters. Hydrocarbon indications in sands beneath a thick clay stone top seal have been recorded while drilling but hole instability issues required the drilling of a sidetrack to comprehensively log and sample these zones of interest. The sidetrack was drilled to a total depth of 2,082 meters. The well encountered reservoir quality sands, oil shows and heavy gas shows indicating an oil prone source rock and a thick shell section which should provide good seals for the numerous fault bounded traps identified in the basin. Only the lowermost sands appeared to be in trapping configuration at Sabisa-1. Based on the encouragement of the results of this well, the company decided to drill the nearby Tultule prospect, four kilometers to the east of Sabisa-1. The Tultule-1 well was drilled and well testing results showed it was a dry well. Tullow Oil has a successful exploration history in neighboring Kenya, Uganda and Ghana. Currently, there are 12 international petroleum companies engaged in oil and gas exploration activities in Ethiopia under six licenses. Responding to a question about the results of the ongoing exploration projects in a recent press conference, the Ethiopian Minister of Mines, Tolossa Shagi Moti, said that oil exploration work was intensified in the country. “We expect positive results,” he commented.

Source : The Reporter

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