Horn Petroleum Corp. has spudded the Shabeel-1 wildcat on the Dharoor block in Puntland, northern Somalia, toward a planned total depth of 3,800 m, said Africa Oil Corp., Vancouver, BC, which owns a 51% equity interest in Horn Petroleum.
Operations have also started on the Shabeel North-1 well with the setting of the 30-in. surface casing and the drilling of a 50-m pilot hole. The Sakson 501 rig will be used to drill both wells, and drilling and evaluation time is put at 90 days each.
The two wells satisfy the first exploration period minimum work obligations of the production sharing contracts for both the Dharoor and Nugaal blocks. They are the first exploratory wells to be drilled in over 20 years in Somalia.
The Shabeel and Shabeel North prospects are on a Jurassic aged rift system that is part of the same system that has proven to be highly productive of oil in the Masila and Shabwa basins in Yemen. The reservoirs in Somalia are expected to be sandstones and carbonates of the Lower Cretaceous and Jurassic systems analogous to Yemen.