ConocoPhillips has lined up a rig for its latest drilling campaign offshore Malaysia where success could see a reserves boost to help underpin a grassroots floater-based field development.

The US operator’s Sarawak subsidiary has issued a letter of award to Velesto Drilling to use the Malaysian rig contractor’s jack-up Naga (Dragon) 7 for up to three wells. The charter is tentatively scheduled to start before end-June.

Velesto said the Naga 7’s contract is worth an estimated US$8 million.

ConocoPhillips is understood to have these three wells offshore Sarawak on its radar in 2021 – the Salam-3 appraisal and the Gagau-1 wildcat on Block WL4-00, and the Mersing-1 exploration well on Block SK 304.

Site surveys and soil boring work has already been performed at the three well locations.

Exploiting the oil

ConocoPhillips has plans for a floating production unit-based project to exploit the discovered oil on the Block WL4-00 production sharing contract that is home the shallow-water Salam, Benum and Patawali fields.

The Naga 7 is a premium independent-leg cantilever jack-up rig that has a drilling depth capability of 30,000 feet and is rated to operate in water depths of up to 375 feet.

ConocoPhillips’ LoA comes just days after Velesto secured work for two other of its jack-up fleet – Naga 2 and Naga 5 – with national upstream company Petronas Carigali; contracts worth an estimated combined US$20.76 million.