APA, Total Cease Offshore Suriname Discovery Well Short of Deeper Target

Increasing downhole pressures were the culprit, rig will be released as planned.

Drillship Noble Sam Croft will be released following the drilling stoppage.

APA Corporation and partner Total halted drilling at the Keskesi East-1 discovery well in the eastern part of Block 58 offshore Suriname short of the probe’s deeper targets. The partners revealed the initial discovery in January when the well struck oil and condensate in the Upper Cretaceous-aged Campanian and Santonian intervals and, subsequently, continued drilling toward deeper Neocomian-aged targets.

The shallower Campanian interval contains 58 m of net oil, volatile oil, and condensate pay and the Santonian interval contains 5 m of net oil and volatile oil pay. Fluid samples indicate API oil gravities of approximately 27 to 28 degrees in the Campanian and 35 to 37 degrees in the Santonian.

According to APA, as the well proceeded deeper it encountered “substantial pressure increases” that the partners determined could exceed the capabilities of the wellbore design and pressure-control equipment. The decision was then made to stop drilling operations.

Information gathered from the well will be used to design a wellbore and drilling program that will ensure a safe test of the deep Neocomian targets in future exploration and/or appraisal operations.

The additional drilling at the Keskesi East-1 well did encounter hydrocarbons in the Lower Cretaceous interval and a carbonate depositional system above the top Neocomian target, both of which help to validate the partners’ geologic models. While encouraging, the company’s added that the data do not reveal specific information about the Neocomian targets themselves.

Drillship Noble Sam Croft, the rig on the Keskesi East-1 well, will be released as planned. Pursuant to the terms of its joint venture agreement, APA transferred operatorship of Block 58 to Total on 1 January 2021. APA holds a 50% working interest in Block 58 and Total holds the remaining 50% stake.