Tullow Oil fails to find commercial oil in Ethiopia

Irish-listed explorer says well at Chew Bahir Basin will be plugged and abandoned

Tullow Oil chief executive Aidan Heavey. The explorer has failed to find commercial oil at the Gardim-1 well in Ethiopia. Photo: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Tullow Oil chief executive Aidan Heavey. The explorer has failed to find commercial oil at the Gardim-1 well in Ethiopia. Photo: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Mon, Jul 14, 2014, 14:25

Tullow Oil has announced that the Gardim-1 exploration well, drilled on the eastern flank of Chew Bahir Basin in Ethiopia, has failed to find commercial levels of oil.

The well intersected lacustrine and volcanic formations, similar to those found in the Shimela-1 well on the north-western flank of the basin.

The explorer said it has reached a total depth of 2,468 metres in basement, without encountering commercial oil.

“We have now drilled two independent wildcat wells in the Chew Bahir Basin, neither of which encountered commercial oil,” exploration director Angus McCoss said.

“Whilst our analysis continues, initial indications suggest that the targeted seismic anomalies related to lavas that flowed into a lake basin,” he added.

As a result, the well will now have to be plugged and abandoned.

Tullow recently discovered high quality oil in the Ngamia-2 well in Kenya, which it has been drilling with its partners on the project, Africa Oil.

The Irish listed exploration group also announced that the Hanssen wildcat well in the Barents Sea, offshore Norway, had encountered a 20-25 metre oil bearing sandstone with good reservoir properties in the main target.