Onshore drilling commences next year
Barbados will embark on a $15 million onshore oil exploration and production programme in the middle of next year.
Manager of the Barbados National Oil Company (BNOC) Winton Gibbs told Barbados TODAY this afternoon the drilling programme will begin between July and August 2015 with a minimum of five wells planned to be sunk.
Gibbs said the proposal was to drill two exploratory wells at Society in St John and two to three production developmental wells at the BNOC’s Woodbourne headquarters in St Philip.
“Our production is just around 700 barrels of oil per day. We were hoping to drill this year, but we had to delay that for a number of reasons. One is, we have made a decision to refurbish all our rigs and to make the drilling rigs more efficient and more versatile,” the BNOC manager added.
“We are refurbishing them to reach a depth of close to 10,000 feet. Our rig could reach a depth of 6,500/7,000 feet with some effort. So we have taken a decision to refurbish and upgrade those rigs to make them safer and more efficient,” he continued.
Gibbs said the exploration wells were more expensive because they normally go to a greater depth and they were located in virgin territory. Gibbs said the BNOC will be seeking to determine what oil and gas reserves exist in Society, St John as a new field.
“The technical department is still in the proess of evaluating the prospects,” he noted. He said that in 2012, the company drilled one well at Society, but officials had encountered some challenges in that area.
“The sample suggests the presence of hydrocarbon, but we were not able to complete the well, and that is why we are going back to the same area with at least two wells.
“Woodbourne is an ageing field and it is more costly to produce the balance of the reserves here. It’s important that we find a new field,” the BNOC top official suggested.
He said that while his company was looking at Society, the search will be extended in the future to other areas such as Flat Rock and Fisherpond.