Genel bites dust off Malta

Genel Energy has hit water at a wildcat off Malta drilled with a Noble semi-submersible.

The London-listed explorer failed to find any hydrocarbons at the Hagar Qim-1 well in Area 4 off the south of the Mediterranean island state.

Genel and block partner Mediterranean Oil & Gas (MOG), which has a 25% share in the block, said on Thursday that the well was drilled to the Eocene formation but has now been plugged and abandoned as a dry hole.

The semisub Noble Paul Romano spudded the probe on 24 May, targeting prospective proven and probable resource of 87 million barrels of oil in Lower Eocene and Paleocene reservoirs.

The well, which sits in around 450 metres of water, was expected to take between two and three months to complete.

A Genel spokesperson said the well had intersected all of its objectives but that drilling finished far earlier than previously expected due to good operational performance.

Genel will now move the semisub to the Sidi Moussa licence off Morocco to drill the Nour prospect, targeting prospective resources of 300 million barrels of oil at a 20% probability of success. Drilling operations are expected to commence in August and take two to three months to complete.

Shares in MOG slumped more than 5% by around 8am in London on Thursday, while those in Genel dropped around 2%, before recovering.

In a company update on Thursday, Genel also said its full-year production guidance is maintained at 60,000 to 70,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, with revenue guidance staying at between $500 million and $600 million. The capital expenditure guidance has been maintained at between $550 million and $600 million.

Genel also said its operations in the Kurdistan region of Iraq (KRI) remain "safe and secure".

"First exports by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) via the new KRI-Turkey pipeline infrastructure were lifted from Ceyhan in May," Genel said.

"Proceeds from the first cargo, sold at international prices, have been paid into a bank account in Turkey controlled by the KRG."

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