Previously, Tullow has drilled the Sabisa-1 and Tultule-1 in the South Omo Block. Oil and gas shows were noted in the first well while the second well was abandoned as a dry hole. The third well will be drilled in the Chew Bahir basin, in the Shimela locality. Reliable sources told The Reporter that the drilling crew has finalized mobilization to the drilling site.
The drilling rig owned and operated by the Polish company, Oil and Gas Exploration Company (OGEC,) has been erected at the drilling site. Tullow is finalizing preparations to start drilling. According to sources, the drilling crew will start drilling next month.
A recent report prepared by Tullow indicated that the company and its partners have completed a 1,174 kilometer 2D seismic program in the Chew Bahir Basin in the eastern portion of the South Omo Block. According to the report, the survey identified a number of prospects and leads.
The report said the Shimela prospect had been identified as the first well in the area and is expected to spud in 2014. A second well location is also being considered for 2014. The South Omo Block is located in the northern portion of the Tertiary East African Rift Valley trend where Tullow Oil and its partners have made five significant oil discoveries in Northern Kenya.
The company and its partners on the South Omo Block spudded the Sabisa-1 well in January 2013 and the well was drilled to a preliminary total depth of 1,810 meters. Hydrocarbon indications in sands beneath a thick clay stone top seal have been recorded while drilling, but hole instability issues required the drilling of a sidetrack to comprehensively log and sample these zones of interest.
The sidetrack was drilled to a total depth of 2,082 meters. The well encountered reservoir quality sands, oil shows and heavy gas shows indicating an oil prone source rock and thick shell section, which should provide a good seal for the numerous fault bounded traps identified in the basin. Only the lowermost sands appeared to be in trapping configuration at Sabisa-1.
Based on the encouragement of the results of this well, the company decided to drill the nearby Tultule prospect, four kilometers to the east of Sabisa-1. The Tultule-1 well was drilled and well testing results show that it was a dry well.
Tullow Oil has a successful exploration history in neighboring Kenya and Uganda as well as Ghana. Currently, there are 12 international petroleum companies engaged in oil and gas exploration activities in Ethiopia under six licenses.
Responding to a question about the results of the ongoing exploration projects in a press conference held last week, the Ethiopian Minister of Mines, Tolossa Shagi Moti said that oil exploration has been intensified in the country. "We expect positive results," he commented.