Posts Tagged ‘Bahamas’

Challenger Energy Graphic

The only 2021 Atlantic drilling activity offshore North America and south of Newfoundland was in Bahamian waters. Yesterday, Challenger Energy (formerly Bahamas Petroleum) provided an interesting update. Some highlights:

  1. The Perserverance I well was drilled approximately 20 miles from the Bahamas-Cuba maritime border, in water 518 meters deep. This was the first exploration drilling in The Bahamas since the mid-1980s, and the first test of any prospect located in deeper waters off the shallower water carbonate banks.
  2. There were no safety or environmental incidents.
  3. The well was plugged and secured in accordance with international and BSEE standards.
  4. Challenger advised the Government of The Bahamas of its intent to renew its exploration licences. 

Geologic summary:

Perseverance-1 reached total depth of 3,905 metres, having intersected five Albian, Upper Aptian, and Mid-Aptian horizons of interest. Post-drill analysis of the well has confirmed the geological risk elements for trap, seal and reservoir were present in the Lower Cretaceous carbonate play. Perseverance encountered high quality reservoirs in the targeted Lower Cretaceous carbonate closures, with thick sequences of evaporites providing effective seals. Depth and thicknesses of reservoir sections encountered were generally as prognosed pre-drill, and reservoir porosity was likewise generally in line with pre-drill expectations (in the range of 10% to 20%).

The presence of hydrocarbons was encountered at various horizons, indicated by elevated gas chromatography readings detected continually during drilling, generally increasing with depth and through the deeper Aptian reservoir column in particular. Oil was identified from high oil saturation values from logs in a number of reservoir sections, thus verifying the existence of a working Lower Cretaceous petroleum system and reservoir quality sequences in the Aptian.

Although hydrocarbons were present, these were not in commercial quantities, with the source quality and migration interpreted as being the primary reason for this non-commercial well outcome.

Petrophysical analysis of the well logs have confirmed high quality reservoirs down to the base of the well with no significant deterioration in porosity with depth, indicating the potential for high deliverability reservoirs in the underlying Jurassic formations.

In aggregate, the analysis of the data from Perseverance-1 drilling is broadly indicative of increased potential for oil in the underlying Jurassic interval (which was not penetrated by Perseverance-1). In particular, the relatively cool well temperatures place the postulated Jurassic source rock (producing in nearby Cuba and the US Gulf of Mexico) in the oil window, thus oil generative.

Challenger Energy, 8/16/2021

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Reuters article

“For us, the major goal is to prevent these major accidents from happening,” said Fidel Ilizastigui Perez, an official of Cuba’s Office for Environment and Nuclear Safety Regulation.

“The companies must show that they meet all international standards,” he told the conference in Port of Spain.

Perez said Cuban officials had studied and already implemented oil industry safety practices from Britain and incorporated others from the United States.

Mr. Perez participated in the 2005 International Regulators’ Offshore Safety Conference in London and made a very favorable impression.

Dan Whittle, a senior attorney at the U.S.-based Environmental Defense Fund, said the Cuban government appeared to be taking the safety issue seriously because of the potential economic benefit of the project.

“Cuba has a lot at stake,” he said. “They’re doing the best they can with limited resources and with obstacles to access those resources.”

“I think we’re seeing the beginning of a more international dialogue on what the Cubans are planning,” he added.

Sensible comments from the EDF.

Also, Cuba and the Bahamas have agreed on a maritime boundary.

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from the Bahamas Tribune:

“We hope that in the second quarter of next year we will be able to be in a position where we can go forward and drill a well. We’ve just raised $75 million on the London market last month to apply towards our exploration purposes,” Dr Crevello said during a meeting of the Rotary Club of Nassau yesterday.

It is doubtful that this timeline will be met as Government has said it will not lift its moratorium on drilling any time soon.

“Well it’s nigh impossible for this (the passing of legislation relating to oil drilling) to be accommodated within this Parliament,” Environment Minister Earl Deveaux told The Tribune last month.

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Bahamas Petroleum, the oil and gas exploration company with licences in The Bahamas, is pleased to announce that the company has completed the acquisition of 1120 km of long-cable (8km) 2D seismic in its southern licences.  The new seismic survey has confirmed the presence of multiple prospects, some of which are 4-way closure in nature and some of which are combination stratigraphic-structural traps.

I’ll defer to the geologists regarding the significance of this announcement, but the results would seem to provide further encouragement for the island nation’s exploratory drilling plans. Will Florida politicians try to bully the Bahamas the way they have been bullying Cuba?

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Super-geologist Paul Post is tracking Cuban and Bahamian activity and sent this map and update.

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Two thousand and eleven could be a key year for oil minnow Bahamas Petroleum Company. The AIM-quoted explorer has hired the Osprey Explorer seismic vessel, owned by Norway’s SeaBird Exploration, to shoot close-grid 2D over its four licences to the south of the Bahamas with a view to firming up a prospect for drilling in Q4. This would be the first well in Bahamian waters since 1986 and will be an acid test of BPC’s claim to be holding first mover advantage in waters that could be home to billions of barrels of oil. OilBarrel.com

Note that the area of interest is adjacent to Cuban waters, so the Cuban findings will be of great interest to the Bahamas.  I don’t know if the two countries have an information sharing agreement. Perhaps the Scarabeo 9 semisubmersible will move to Bahamian waters after drilling one or more wells off Cuba.

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