Tullow Targets 1.4 Billion Barrels With French Guiana Wells

Tullow Oil Plc, which opened a new oil frontier off the northeast coast of South America, said it’s targeting about 1.4 billion barrels of oil and gas resources from three wells off French Guiana.

The London-based company that has the most licenses in Africa plans to drill the Zaedyus-2 appraisal well in the third quarter and the Dasypus-1 well in the Guyane Maritime in the fourth quarter, it said today on its website. Tullow will also appraise the initial Zaedyus discovery next year.

Tullow along with partners Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Total SA spent more than $250 million last year drilling the Zaedyus-1 offshore well, which found light and heavy oil. Tullow today increased the estimate for the field’s gross reserves to 840 million barrels of oil equivalent, up from its September forecast of 700 million barrels in the Demerara Plateau’s Eastern Slope frontier.

“Now the basin is calibrated and the future wells should be lower costs,” Tullow Exploration Director Angus McCoss said today in an interview. The partners used the Zaedyus well “to accelerate the appraisal and understanding of the reservoir.”

The partners will need now to appraise the prospect, which will require additional drilling, Tullow Chief Operating Officer Paul McDade said in a phone interview. French Guiana authorities will possibly approve the field development next year with partners then making an investment decision. It will take at least 30 months after that to pump the first oil from the Zaedyus, he said.

French Guiana is an overseas region of France with a population of about 230,000. Tullow is the operator of the Guyane Maritime license with a 27.5 percent stake, Shell has 45 percent, Total 25 percent and Northpet 2.5 percent.

Tullow shares have risen 5.7 percent this year and gained 1.9 percent to 1,482 pence in London today.

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