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Cameroon: Sapele-3 well adds pay, extends fairways

Bowleven PLC said its Sapele-3 exploratory well in the Douala basin off Cameroon has extended the previously defined Paleocene and shallower Tertiary play fairways and is being suspended for future reentry, testing, and possible use as a development well.

Sapele-3 went to a total depth of 4,480 m on the MLHP-5 block in the Etinde permit. Downhole temperatures in the Paleocene exceeded the rating of the available surface equipment, so the company deferred testing until an optimal, longer-duration test program can be run across both the Epsilon and Deep Omicron intervals.

The well penetrated a further 8 m of net hydrocarbon pay in deeper reservoirs in addition to 11 m of net pay previously encountered in the Deep Omicron.

The reservoir package in the Paleocene Epsilon complex is in the same gross stratigraphic interval encountered in Sapele-1, and indications from shows and mud log analysis suggest that the Epsilon reservoir package is oil-bearing. The well represents a major extension of the Epsilon play fairway with potential for better-developed sands updip.

The next key step is to evaluate the extensive data obtained from the four wells the company has drilled and plan an optimal test program for the Deep Omicron and Epsilon intervals.

Sapele-3 is in 30 m of water 16 km northwest of Sapele-1 and 13 km northwest of the D-1r wells. The well cut 8 m of log-evaluated net hydrocarbon pay in the deeper reservoirs, of which 6 m is in reservoir sands with good porosity and permeability in the Paleocene Epsilon interval. Gas chromatograph ratio analysis and shows while drilling indicate that the sands are likely to be oil-bearing.

The Epsilon reservoir interval is interpreted as a basal sand reservoir unit in the same gross stratigraphic interval as that encountered in the original Sapele-1 discovery well and located towards the edge of a potentially extensive channelized system. Sapele-1 confirmed the presence of both gas-condensate and oil at the Epsilon interval.

As with the shallower Tertiary discoveries in Sapele-3, the discovery at the Epsilon interval represents a substantial step-out from Sapele-1 and extends the known play fairway well beyond the previously mapped area.

The Sapele-3 well was not selected on the basis of an optimal location at which to intersect the Epsilon complex, as the original objectives of the well were in shallower Tertiary intervals, and seismic interpretation highlights the potential for better developed sands updip in the same interval. This potential will be taken into account in the selection of future appraisal locations.

The 2012 work program includes as many as three appraisal wells and one exploratory well on the Etinde permit. Drilling is to start in the second quarter.


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