Cairn soldifies position off West Greenland

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Jan. 27
– Cairn Energy PLC, which plans to drill as many as four exploratory wells off western Greenland in 2011, will maintain 10-12 potential well locations in a variety of operating environments and geological settings for as long as possible.

The company will pick which prospects to drill in May 2011.

Cairn continues to evaluate the results of its 2010 three-well exploratory drilling campaign on the Sigguk Block in the Disko Bay area. The wells found biogenic and thermogenic gas and oil but not significant target reservoir rocks. Geochemical evaluation has now identified three oil types.

The Alpha-1S1 exploratory well has been suspended to allow possible reentry to sidetrack or deepen. The T8-1 and T4-1 exploratory wells have been plugged and abandoned.

The company has secured the dynamically positioned Leiv Eiriksson semisubmersible and the Ocean Rig Corcovado drillship for the 2011 drilling season.

Seismic surveys

Cairn plans to shoot 3D seismic off Greenland this year, subject to approvals. Two 3D seismic survey vessels are expected to be contracted to acquire as many as five 3D surveys in different areas.

The company shot more than 15,000 km of 2D seismic on the Eqqua, Ingoraq, Napariaq, Pitu, Sigguk, and offshore south Greenland blocks in 2010, bringing its total 2D seismic data base in Greenland to more than 30,000 km.

Acreage aggregation

Cairn now holds 102,000 sq km off Greenland, equivalent to 15 quadrants in the UK North Sea.

The government has confirmed Cairn as operator of the Atammik and Lady Franklin blocks, and Cairn has acquired the 47.5% interest held by Encana Corp. The entitlement interests are Cairn operator with 87.5% and Greenland’s Nunaoil 12.5%. The blocks are usually free of sea ice year-round.

Cairn was awarded the Ingoraq, Napariaq, and Pitu blocks in the December 2010 Baffin Bay bid round. Shell, Statoil, GDF, Conoco-Phillips, and Maersk also won blocks in the round (see map, OGJ, Jan. 3, 2011, p. 71).

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