Petrel Energy Ltd’s, two hole 2,000 metre core drilling programme, to test the oil potential of its large 3.5 million acre basin play in Uruguay has commenced. The coreholes have been located based on the magnetotelluric (“MT”) geophysical survey recently conducted across the Piedra Sola and Salto concessions. The programme will target organic rich shales in the Norte Basin to test parameters critical for source and reservoir rock evaluation. The play is similar to successful shale plays such as the Bakken in North America and is the same age as the Marcellus play.
Ministerial approvals have now been received by Operator and Petrel Energy partner, Schuepbach Energy International (SEI). Two local drilling companies have been mobilised to drill the wells simultaneously to estimated depths of 750 and 1,250 metres over the next 4 to 6 weeks.
Petrel Energy’s Managing Director, Mr. David Casey said today: “These two coreholes represent the first deep onshore petroleum exploration in Uruguay for over 30 years and the first focused on unconventional targets. Data from these coreholes will allow SEI to determine the distribution of organic-rich shales and other potential reservoirs and will be followed by seismic acquisition to guide follow-up exploration drilling and resource assessment. This programme is an exciting extrapolation of ANCAP’s shallower success with the Canada Charrua well in the Pepe Nez region”.
Piedra Sola and Salto
Petrel’s Uruguay project, through its interest in Schuepbach Energy International, covers two concessions over 14,000 sq km (3.5 million acres) in the onshore Norte Basin with potential for a very large unconventional and conventional oil resource in a virtually unexplored basin.
Petrel currently owns a 25% interest in Schuepbach Energy International LLC (SEI), a private US company, which holds a 100% working interest the Piedra Sola and Salto concessions. Petrel holds two further options allowing the equity interest in SEI to be progressively increased to 60%. The first option allows Petrel to increase its stake to 51% through an additional investment of US$5.5 million. The first phase of an initial US$2.5 million exploration program has been completed with acquisition of Magnetotelluric (MT) data and the two coreholes in Piedra Sola concession will complete the initial exploration programme.