Cairn spuds wildcat, takes farmout offshore Morocco

Cairn Energy PLC’s Capricorn Exploration & Development Ltd. has spudded the first wildcat in a multiwall exploratory program offshore Morocco and separately has taken a farmout from Kosmos Energy Co. and Morocco’s state ONHYM on another Moroccan block.

Capricorn plans to drill the FD-I exploratory well to 5,500 m true vertical depth subsea in 1,500 m of water 120 km offshore Morocco on the Foum Draa block using the Cajun Express fifth generation semisubmersible. Drilling time is estimated at 60 days.

After drilling this well, the rig will move to the Cap Juby location off Morocco to drill an exploratory well targeting Middle Jurassic carbonates, subject to necessary approvals.

Cairn is Foum Draa block operator with a 50% working interest.

Meanwhile, Cairn has taken a farmout from Kosmos and ONHYM for a 20% nonoperated interest in the Cap Boujdour exploration permit where drilling is scheduled for second-half 2014.

The permit covers 27,700 sq km in 1,000-3,000 m of water in the Aaiun basin 50 km offshore. A regional 2D grid and 2,000 sq km of 3D seismic surveys have been shot on Cap Boujdour. Kosmos has identified three prospects in the 3D area. The largest, Gargaa, is in 2,135 m of water.

The agreement, subject to government approval, calls for Cairn to pay a promoted share of future exploration costs, towards a 3D seismic survey, an exploratory well planned for 2014, and if successful, two appraisal wells, all subject to a maximum expenditure cap.

Cairn, through Capricorn, becomes a partner in the Cap Boujdour project with ONHYM, San Leon Energy, Serica Energy PLC, and Longreach Oil & Gas Ltd.

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