Rialto Energy announces that the Block CI-202 joint venture (Rialto 85% working interest and operator and Petroci 15%) has elected to release the Transocean GSF Monitor drilling rig after the completion of drilling and testing of the current Gazelle-P4 development well. This will allow the JV to focus on the FEED for the Gazelle field development and to further refine exploration options for its Cote d’Ivoire acreage. Gazelle-P4 will be the third and final well under the drilling contract for Transocean GSF Monitor.
Enhanced Appraisal & Exploration Prospectivity
Based on the recent success of the Gazelle-P3 ST1 and Gazelle-P3 ST2 wells and the newly processed volumes of the recently acquired block-wide 3D seismic survey, Rialto is now assessing the full exploration potential of Block CI-202. This review is being undertaken in order to rank the growing number of exploration and appraisal targets for consideration as part of the 2013 drilling campaign. Many new prospects have been identified and involve deeper targets which will be more easily penetrated using the recently contracted Vantage Sapphire jack-up drilling rig.
The current, in-depth studies being undertaken by Rialto will include a strong focus on the recent Condor Discovery and the Chouette Prospect, and will incorporate the recently acquired drilling and seismic data.
As well as a strong focus on the exploration potential which exists in Block CI-202, Rialto will continue to develop its understanding of the four significant existing discoveries located on the block. These discoveries will be the subject of future appraisal/development drilling, with future tie backs to the Gazelle development.
Following completion of the drilling of the Gazelle-P4 well and subsequent release of the Transocean GSF Monitor rig, Rialto will have completed its 2012 appraisal and development drilling programme of the Gazelle Field via three additional penetrations of the Gazelle structure and appropriate testing.
Rialto’s focus over the remainder of this year will be on:
1. Progressing Gazelle FEED. This will include reviewing development options that reduce upfront capital expenditure whilst fast tracking gas commercialisation and cash flow.
2. A thorough technical review of both new and previously identified prospects in Block CI-202 as well as existing discoveries to rank opportunities for the planned 2013 exploration and appraisal drilling programme.
3. Finalisation of funding for the 2013 drilling, and the Gazelle development. This will involve a planned mix of reserve-based lending for the Gazelle development and the introduction of an industry partner.
4. FID for Gazelle Development.
After releasing the rig, Rialto forecasts it will have approximately US$25 million cash on hand post Gazelle P-4 drilling and testing and assuming this well is within the budgeted cost of US$28 million.
The Gazelle-P3 ST1 well successfully penetrated the Condor exploration prospect with good gas shows in low permeability rocks. The follow up Condor well will be drilled up-dip where the Lower Cenomanian section is interpreted to be thicker and have improved reservoir quality. Rialto’s technical team will integrate the Gazelle-P3 ST1 Condor results with the final 3D dataset to determine the most appropriate location to drill a follow up Condor well.
The Competent Person’s Report prepared prior to the drilling of the Gazelle-P3 ST1 estimated Condor to contain a gross mean prospective resource of 15 million barrels (mmbbls) of oil and 750 billion cubic feet (bcf) of gas.
Fast track assessment of 3D seismic data has identified additional exploration target zones which are deeper than the original Chouette prospect. Chouette was originally identified as a Senonian aged stratigraphic trap and estimated to contain 84 mmbbls and 42 bcf gross mean prospective resource.
The additional prospective levels are Turonian / Upper Cenomanian, Lower Cenomanian, and Albian in age, with the associated prospective resource yet to be assessed. Rialto’s technical team will now look to integrate the final 3D dataset into the existing geological model to further evaluate the deeper prospectivity and determine the most appropriate location and well path for drilling the Chouette exploration well.
It should be noted that the joint venture has determined that the Vantage Sapphire Jack-up rig contracted for the 2013 drilling programme is better equipped to deal with drilling a deviated well targeting these deeper exploration objectives.
Block Wide 3D Seismic Results
The CI-202 block wide, 891 km2 3D seismic acquisition programme was completed in January this year. Processing and interpretation of the newly acquired data is underway, with initial fast track volumes proving very encouraging. The final processed 3D data set should provide improved resolution compared to existing available 3D seismic data, including that acquired over the Gazelle field. The data set will also cover areas of the block not already covered by existing 3D seismic.
Commenting on today’s announcement, Jeff Schrull, Managing Director of Rialto said:
“Release of the GSF Monitor rig following drilling of the Gazelle P-4 well will allow us time to assess the enhanced prospectivity of Block CI-202 utilising the well results and final seismic processing. This will greatly improve the CI-202 Joint Venture’s chances of success from the exploration drilling campaign in early 2013. We will also be able to take advantage of using the high performance Vantage Sapphire rig for drilling this important campaign that is focused on the future growth opportunities offered by Block C1-202.”