The joint venture of Malaysia’s Petronas and Australia’s FAR is keen to commit to the next exploration phase of Blocks A2 and A5 offshore Gambia, West Africa, despite the recent non-commercial Bambo exploration well.

Drilling of Bambo fulfilled the first-phase work commitment, and FAR said today the joint venture therefore has the right to enter the next period for the two licences expiring on 30 September 2022.

Remaining potential

The drilling and logging data obtained at Bambo-1 and the sidetrack well confirmed the presence of a prolific oil source in the area and that oil shows while drilling were persistent over several hundred metres.

No significant oil volumes were interpreted in the southern extension of the Sangomar oilfield into the A2 block.

However, oil shows in the Bambo prospect S390 and S400 reservoirs highlighted updip potential at both those levels in Block A2.

Further mapping of the potential oil-bearing reservoirs has opened additional, material exploration opportunities and FAR has high-graded three of the four mapped prospects for potential drilling — Panthera, Jatto and Malo — each of which have multiple potential oil-bearing reservoir targets.

FAR intends to start a farm-down of its 50% interest in blocks A2 and A5, and a carry on the cost of a well for drilling in late 2023 plus a contribution to FAR’s past costs.

Future work programme and budget

FAR would like to see a 40% reduced exploration budget in 2022 of about US$5.7 million.

"This will require review and voting for the amended work program and budget by the joint venture which is scheduled for March. Petronas are supportive of reducing the 2022 budgeted expenditure," said FAR.

Stay a step ahead with the Upstream News app
Read high quality news and insight on the oil and gas business and its energy transition on-the-go. The News app offers you more control over your Upstream reading experience than any other platform.