Discoveries added in Tunisia's Ghadames

Three oil discoveries are reported in southern Tunisia and large swaths of 3D seismic are being shot.

Oct 18th, 2007

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Oct. 18 -- Three oil discoveries are reported in southern Tunisia and large swaths of 3D seismic are being shot.

Operators in the Ghadames basin are also working on a large-scale project to expand infrastructure to market gas-condensate from the area within several years.

Pioneer Natural Resources Co., Dallas, reported the Angham and Methaq new field discoveries on the Jenein Nord Block, and Eni SPA gauged the Nadir-1 discovery on the Adam Concession.

Pioneer and the other participants have shot 1,450 sq km of 3D seismic to optimize drilling programs on the Adam, Jenein Nord, and Borj El Khadra blocks and plan to shoot a further 1,900 sq km in the next year.

Pioneer plans to spud three more wells in Tunisia by year's end and 15-19 wells in 2008.

Recent discoveries
Activity is growing on three blocks generally east and south of giant El Borma oil field in southern Tunisia (see map, OGJ, July 2, 2007, p. 44).

Pioneer reported success on seven wells since late 2006 on Jenein Nord, where it expects to start production late in the fourth quarter of 2007.

Pioneer completed tests at Angham and the Farrah discovery well announced in July. The cumulative rates from individual tests on multiple oil-bearing zones in the two wells totaled 5,000 b/d of oil. Methaq is to be tested in November.

The Jenein Nord production facilities will have initial capacity of 10,000 b/d, be expanded to 20,000 b/d in the second half of 2008, and will be expandable beyond that. As the discoveries are gradually tied in, output is expected to climb to 15,000-20,000 b/d by the end of 2008.

Pioneer, which holds 3.9 million acres in five blocks in the basin, will hold a 50% interest in Jenein Nord assuming that Tunisia's state ETAP participates at the maximum 50% level.

Meanwhile, four of the six oil-bearing sections at the ENI-operated Nadir discovery on the Adam Concession tested at a combined 4,000 b/d of oil. The discovery is expected to go on production by the end of October.

Pioneer, with 20% interest in Adam, noted that it has participated in 15 wells at Adam since 2003 with greater than 90% success. ENI, Talisman Energy Inc., and ETAP hold the other interest.

Pioneer noted that since 3D seismic shooting began it has had 100% success in exploratory drilling and has identified more than 30 prospects and leads, some with resource potential as large as 25 million boe.

More in Exploration & Development