Malaysia’s national upstream company, Petronas Carigali, this week is due to spud its latest wildcat on Block SK 301B offshore Sarawak, East Malaysia, where the operator has already delivered two known successes.

The Besah-1 exploration well is to be drilled by Japan Drilling Company’s semi-submersible rig Hakuryu 5, in a programme that is expected to take about 105 days. The drilling campaign is being supported by three vessels — the large anchor handling tug supply vessels Setia Hijrah and Hai Duong 06, and the platform supply vessel Executive Balance, marine traffic tracking company VesselsValue confirmed.

Block SK 301B also hosts Petronas Carigali’s Machinchang and Pangkin discoveries, the latter of which is understood to have also been drilled by the Hakuryu 5 and supported by the same three vessels.

Parent Petronas has attributed these two discoveries to Petronas Carigali’s innovative “clustered exploration” approach, which it hailed as “a unique style of prospecting suited for highly matured geological provinces”.

“These discoveries are the result of our exploration teams’ willingness to challenge norms and defy long-standing dogmas. We are highly encouraged by our early success and will continue enhancing our efforts,” Petronas vice president of exploration Mohd Redhani Abdul-Rahman earlier said.

Last year, Petronas Carigali performed a marine geohazards survey over four exploration targets offshore Sarawak — Pangkin, Besah, Angus and Saderi Deep.

In May 2022, the operator chartered the Hakuryu 5 for four firm wells plus six optional wells offshore this state with this drilling campaign understood to have begun in the third quarter of last year.

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