BHP makes significant gas discovery
BHP Billiton’s Bongos-2 well was a significant gas discovery in deep water, according to multiple sources in the company.
The well did not just “encounter hydrocarbons”, as was announced by the energy company last month, but is a major gas discovery having penetrated the three gas sands the company was aiming at when it first drilled the well. This means that of the four deep water wells drilled by BHP two have major gas discoveries, with Le Clerc encountering more than 5 tcf of gas. In addition, Victoria has encountered gas in the same block as Le Clerc and only one well was deep and commercial.
Bongos-2 is located in BHP’s northern contract area, east of Tobago in deep-water block 14. The company holds a 70 per cent stake in the block with remaining 30 per cent belonging to bpTT.
This week, BHP was asked the following questions:
• Has drilling been completed in the Bongos 2 deep water well ?
• Was gas/oil/ or oil and gas found?
• Is the discovery a significant one?
• How many feet of pay did BHP find and did it go through three gas sands?
• Is BHP going to drill any additional well in the same block?
In response, company officials would only repeat the statement it has been making since August: “The Bongos-2 exploration well was spud on 22 July 2018 and encountered hydrocarbons. Drilling is still in progress and this is all we can share at this time. As soon as we have more information I’ll let you know.”
At the time of BHP’s response the Bongos-2 well was already completed and the rig moved from the block.
“We are all very pleased with this well. We were able to penetrate all the gas zones we were aiming for and we believe that apart from significant gas the structure could have oil in the deeper horizons,” said one company source.
No oil was encountered in the Bongos-2 well even though it was drilled deeper than was originally planned, but information gathered from the well has led BHP officials to believe there could also be oil in the block.
Bongos-2 was spud after Bongos-1 experienced mechanical difficulty shortly after it was drilled. This would mean good news for the country and Minister of Finance Colm Imbert as he prepares to present in 2018/2019 annual budget.
The reality is that even with the best will, this discovery will take another five to seven years to come to market and it would put the government in a better position to assure investors in the petrochemical sector that T&T has gas for a long time to come, thereby increasing investor confidence.
It may also allow the government to begin to look at the possibility of other downstream investments in the petrochemical sector and increase the country’s revenue streams.
Imbert is expected to announce that 2019 will see an increase in drilling, with BHP drilling the final well in its phase two deep water campaign.
The next well it will spud, Conception, will be drilled in block 5 c where the Le Clerc and Victoria discoveries were made as the company further tests the size and extent of the structure.