| Danial Norjidi |
BRUNEI Shell Petroleum Company Sdn Bhd (BSP) has achieved an exciting new success in exploration as it made its first significant onshore discovery in 37 years with its Layang-Layang Well in the Lumut area.
The achievement was announced in a joint press statement yesterday by BSP and the Energy and Industry Department at the Prime Minister’s Office (EIDPMO).
The Layang-Layang oil and gas discovery is the first of its kind as it confirms a new geological concept called a Shale diapir trap which was interpreted from seismic data and Brunei field outcrop studies.
A Shale diapir is a large cavity injected with Shale under high subsurface pressure, and had never previously been considered as a valid trap mechanism for BSP until now.
According to the statement, what makes this discovery particularly remarkable is the application of new, advanced seismic processing technology to existing older data.
This new technology enabled the successful geological thinking and safe drilling of the Layang-Layang Well.
“What is even more meaningful is that this is a well in the Seria Field – which is Brunei’s first and oldest oil field, discovered in 1929. Even though it is more than 80 years old, it is a gift that keeps on giving. Seria was the birth of the oil and gas industry in Brunei and will continue fuelling Brunei’s future for generations to come,” reads the statement.
Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Awang Haji Mohammad Yasmin bin Haji Umar, the Minister of Energy and Industry at the Prime Minister’s Office highlighted, “While the government will continue to press efforts to diversify the economy in other sectors, the oil and gas sector will remain a strong pillar of our economy for years to come, where the government will continue to encourage oil and gas operators in Brunei to produce oil and gas in a sustainable and effective manner.”
The minister met and congratulated staff from BSP’s Exploration Department, part of the overall exploration and drilling team, at the BSP Headquarters, made up of diversified and integrated expatriates and locals, on their excellent efforts and diligence in working as a team to realise Layang-Layang.
Innovative thinking and integration across teams convinced BSP management to approve investing in this exploration well, also in the knowledge that a successful result would lead to a number of follow-up exploration wells in the next years.
The well was drilled safely at an angle under Lumut area to a depth of 4,319 metres – which is taller than Mount Kinabalu (4,095 metres). The well was drilled by BSP contractor KCA Deutag under a long-term drilling contract.
In collaboration with the exploration team and the contractors, the T203 rig was designed and built for deep onshore exploration in Brunei.
The rig has been operating in Brunei for 567 days without any recordable safety or environmental incidents.
Fifty-two per cent of the personnel involved in the drilling of the Layang-Layang Well were locals from the rig and subcontractor companies.
Well log evaluation shows a significant column of 300m of gas and oil over six reservoir intervals with good quality sands for this depth.
The exact volumes are yet to be evaluated but initial calculations indicate that the target of 18mmboe has likely been exceeded.
The potential revenues are equivalent to approximately 15 per cent of the country’s B$6 billion annual budget.
“This is a very exciting achievement as it is a clear demonstration of how new technology and cutting-edge techniques in the interpretation of data opens new opportunities,” said BSP Managing Director Ceri Powell.
“We now plan to rapidly assess the follow-up exploration potential with dedicated teams of our top quality Bruneian geoscientists.”
“I feel that the key success factor has been the strong partnership and integration between geoscience experts, drilling operations and petroleum engineers, leveraging on the diversity in terms of expertise, age, gender and nationalities. Our people have truly been the key to unlocking the solution to new ways to solving old problems.”
According to the statement, this is certainly good news for the country because, besides adding volumes to Brunei’s resource base, the result will also provide excellent calibration of the surrounding undrilled prospects of which three more are planned to be drilled in 2017 and 2018.
In parallel to this exploration campaign, the Layang-Layang Well’s discovered oil will be further appraised and developed with an ambitious target already set for first production in 2018 via pipelines to Brunei LNG and Sungai Liang Industrial Park (SPARK) (located about 10km away from the Layang-Layang Well).
Further exploration is expected to lead to more onshore oil and gas developments in the future as well as open up more opportunities for Brunei in the downstream sector.