Baron Oil Plc (BOIL), the AIM-quoted oil and gas exploration and appraisal company focused on assets in SE Asia and the UK, is pleased to provide an update on preparations for drilling activities on the TL-SO-19-16 Production Sharing Contract (the "Chuditch PSC" or the "PSC"), offshore Timor-Leste.
Environmental Approvals Progress
Baron's wholly owned subsidiary and operator of the PSC, SundaGas Banda Unipessoal, Lda ("SundaGas") has achieved the first step of three in securing environmental approvals for the drilling and testing of an appraisal well on the Chuditch field. The Timor-Leste government regulator for oil and gas, Autoridade Nacional do Petróleo ("ANP"), has issued a project classification (Drilling activity - Category A) following its assessment of the Project Document that describes the asset and project plan. Having passed this milestone, ANP has now requested SundaGas to proceed to the next step in the process, which is submission of a Terms of Reference, including initial public consultations.
Drilling Planning Progress
In its announcement and website presentation of 11 October 2023, the Company provided detailed information on the selected location for the Chuditch-2 appraisal well, the drilling of which is subject to financing. Good progress has continued to be made in preparation for the drilling campaign. SundaGas, its joint venture partner TIMOR GAP Chuditch Unipessoal Lda ("TIMOR GAP") and ANP recently held the first of a number of workshops to collaborate on planning for drilling operations. All aspects of the preliminary operational plans were reviewed, including provisional well designs, detailed procurement procedures and health, safety and environmental planning. The next workshop is scheduled for mid-December 2023.
SundaGas is seeking to maximise Timor-Leste local content in the provision of drilling support services for the planned Chuditch-2 appraisal well. An experienced Timorese drilling engineer has been recruited to join the SundaGas well operations team, and expressions of interest are being sought from in-country suppliers to provide services from the Timorese private sector, including in the areas of marine and helicopter logistics, fuel and consumables.
Gas Development Options
The Company continues to evaluate all potential options for gas export from the Chuditch field in order to be able to fast track the concept selection processes anticipated following a successful Chuditch-2 appraisal well. However, no decisions on future concept selection can be taken until the Chuditch-2 appraisal drilling results have been evaluated, and in full collaboration with TIMOR GAP as joint venture partner in the Chuditch PSC, ANP and the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources of the Government of Timor-Leste.
Andy Butler, Director Asia Pacific, commented:
"Baron thanks ANP for the swift evaluation of our first phase environmental documentation for the Chuditch-2 well, and for the excellent collaboration in all of our discussions, including the recent drilling planning workshop. We greatly appreciate the support we receive from the Timor-Leste Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, ANP and TIMOR GAP in relation to the Chuditch-2 appraisal well, planned for late 2024, and onwards to the future development of Chuditch gas resources."