BG confirms oil column

First oil: BG strikes first oil off East Africa

UK operator BG Group has confirmed an oil column in the Sunbird-1 well in area L10A off the coast of Kenya.

After a “lengthy analysis”, joint venture partner Pancontinental Oil & Gas has verified the first ever oil column found off the east African coast was found in the well.

The company said the oil column is 9.2 metres, underneath a gas column of 28.3 metres in a limestone reservoir in the Sunbird Miocene Pinnacle reef.

Pancontinental believes the results are “highly significant” because they prove the presence of an oil system in the Lamu basin, offshore Kenya.

However, a spokesman for the company said this oil discovery was unlikely to change the commercial potential of the well.

"The previous comment of the commerciality of the well still stands," he told Upstream.

He added that this was more of a "proof of concept" type success, proving that there is oil in the basin.

"It certainly has changed the potential of the basin," he said.

He called it a "technical success".

BG previously announced it was unlikely it would commercially develop its Sunbird-1 discovery due to the size.

Analysis of the results has reportedly been complicated because of the loss of drilling mud, seawater and remedial cement.

BG is continuing analysis of the well data and will create a forward-plan for the area using the results.

Pancontinental chief executive Barry Rushworth said this was a significant result for the region.

“We encountered a thick and effective seal over the top of the reef, which was an initial risk for us, and the regional follow-on implications of this are truly significant,” he said.

“Porosity, permeability and seal for the reservoir were all better than Pancontinental expected.

“Now that we know there is a prospective oil system in the Lamu basin and we know the important technical details, we are in a prime position to explore for larger volumes of oil over our very extensive portfolio of prospects and leads.”

Sunbird-1 was plugged and abandoned in according with the drilling programme.

Joint venture partners will now discuss follow-up exploration activities in light of the Sunbird-1 discovery.

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