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Rig arriving for big exploration well offshore East Timor

© Supplied by ShutterstockEast Timor's flag flutters in the wind as the sun rises.
East Timor's flag flutters in the wind as the sun rises.

The Valaris JU-107 jack-up drilling rig is mobilising to drill the highly anticipated Buffalo-10 well offshore East Timor that if successful could unlock more than 30 million barrels of oil. Operator Carnarvon Energy said yesterday that drilling will start within a week and is expected to take 35 days to complete.

Buffalo-10 is to be drilled offshore East Timor, also known as Timor Leste, within the TL-SO-T 19-14 production sharing contract (PSC) in waters around 30 metres deep.

The well is being drilled to test for the presence of commercial quantities of hydrocarbons, particularly oil, that could ultimately result in a re-development of the field, said Carnarvon.

Australian-listed Carnarvon Energy, and UK-listed partner Advance Energy, are hoping to develop more than 30 million barrels of oil that previous operators, including BHP and Nexen Petroleum, appear to have missed offshore East Timor.

East Timor could bag $600 million as driller gets set for Buffalo

The Buffalo oil field was originally discovered in 1996 by BHP and produced 20.5 million barrels of light oil between 1999 and 2004. BHP operated the field for two years before selling out to Nexen. Both operators failed to unlock the oil sitting at the geological crest of the field, known as the attic.

Advance bullish on Buffalo bonanza off East Timor

Although some industry watchers are skeptical that previous operators could have missed such a large volume of oil, Advance’s chief executive, Leslie Peterkin, earlier this year explained to Energy Voice his rationale behind the bullish bet on Buffalo.

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