Thailand’s national upstream company PTTEP is set to spud its latest wildcat on Block SK 438 offshore Sarawak, East Malaysia, where the company’s aim is to discover more gas reserves for a potential cluster development or a tie-back to existing facilities.

Next out of the traps will be the Bangsawan-1 exploration well, which will be drilled by Velesto Energy’s jack-up Naga 3, and the drill bit could be spinning on Monday.

Shallow-water Block SK 438 is located about 108 kilometres off the coast of Bintulu, Sarawak. PTTEP operates the tract with an 80% interest on behalf of its sole partner — Malaysia’s national upstream company Petronas Carigali — that holds the remaining 20% stake.

Blocks SK 314A, SK 438 and SK 405B comprise PTTEP’s Southern Sarawak cluster where it is eying a potential hub development, likely availing itself of some of the nearby existing infrastructure. Block SK 438 is also contiguous to the operator’s blocks SK 309 and SK 311.

Block SK 438 hosts the operator’s 2021 Kulintang-1 gas discovery while Block SK 405B is home to its 2021 Sirung-1 oil and gas find.

Vessels supporting the Bangsawan-1 drilling campaign, which is scheduled to complete around 12 July, are the Malaysian-flagged JM Ehsan, Sealink 178 and Sealink 179.

Upstream had reported on 28 April 2022 that the Bangsawan prospect was on PTTEP’s radar to be drilled later that year or in 2023.

In tandem with this wildcat, the Thai operator is performing soil boring investigations on four of its blocks offshore Malaysia. The vessel Sapura Wira will start its programme on Block SK 438 where it will examine the location of PTTEP’s proposed Babadon-1 exploration well.

The Sapura Wira will then move to Block SK 410B that contains the multi-trillion cubic feet Lang Lebah gas field. PTTEP is hoping later this year to take the final investment decision on Lang Lebah.

The soil boring investigation work here will include the touted locations for Lang Lebah’s central processing platform, living quarters, wellhead platform 2 and flare platform.

If this survey campaign goes according to plan, the vessel will next move to Block SK 405B to survey the location of the planned Satong-1 exploration well before it returns to Block SK 410B and the location of the Lang Lebah-3 well, according to the Malaysia Coast Guard.

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Next the Sapura Wira has about 12 days’ work on PTTEP’s producing Block SK 309 before it once again sails to Block SK 405B to investigate the Sirung discovery location.

The operator earlier this year drilled the Sirung-2 appraisal well, which was drilled by Borr Drilling’s jack-up Gunnlod. No results are known to have been revealed about this appraisal well, but the discovery wildcat encountered a significant oil and gas column of more than 100 metres.

Block SK 405B is located in shallow waters about 137 kilometres offshore Bintulu. Here PTTEP’s partners are Japan’s Moeco (Mitsui) and Petronas Carigali.

Partners in the Block SK 410B production sharing contract are operator PTTEP, Petronas Carigali and Kufpec.

PTTEP’s latest soil boring campaign is due for completion on 31 July.