UK supermajor Shell has spudded the first of three wildcats this year on its MLNG production sharing contract offshore Sarawak, East Malaysia, targeting prospects it has been maturing for several years.

Success with these probes could see gas be used as liquefied natural gas feedstock at the Petronas LNG Complex at Bintulu or at the operator’s own gas-to-liquids project, also at Bintulu, Sarawak.

First out of the traps this year is the Kecupu-1 exploration well, which is being drilled by Velesto Energy’s jack-up Naga (Dragon) 4.

This wildcat, which is expected to complete around mid-March, will be followed back-to-back by the Ruku Ruku-1 well, likely spudding within a few days of Kecupu’ s completion.

The third well, also expected to take 45 days like the Ruku Ruku wildcat, will be the Memali-1 well.

These three wells are expected to keep the Naga 4 busy until the end of June.

Shell’s latest exploration drilling campaign offshore Malaysia is being supported by four locally-flagged vessels — the large anchor-handling tug supply vessels MMA Majestic and Executive Pride plus the Robust Three and SK Phoenix, which respectively are a utility vessel and a platform supply vessel, according to VesselsValue.

Naga 4 is a premium independent-leg cantilever jack-up rig that has a drilling depth capability of 30,000 feet and can operate in water depths of up to 400 feet.

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