The Bahamas: BPC Completes Drilling of Perseverance #1 with Non-Commercial Oil Discovery


Bahamas Petroleum Company (BPC), said Monday that its Perseverance #1 well offshore The Bahamas has encountered oil, however, not in commercial volumes.

"The Perseverance #1 well in The Bahamas has encountered hydrocarbons, successfully validated the structural model and the petroleum system, and drilled a majority of the potential reservoirs of interest, thus fulfilling the core technical objectives of the well," the company, which used the Stena IceMAX drillship for the operation, said.

"Whilst the well encountered oil, indicated from LWD (Logging while drilling) tools, gas chromatography and mud logs, commercial volumes of oil have not been proven at this well location," the company added.

The company had targeted P50 prospective oil resources of 0.77 billion barrels, with an upside of 1.44 billion barrels, at Perseverance #1.

While not enough oil was found at the location to warrant development, BPC said that the validation of a competent seal, good reservoir quality, charge, and the presence of oil points to significant hydrocarbon potential remaining in various independent, untested play systems and structures within BPC's acreage in The Bahamas.

"Drilling has now ceased, the well having reached a depth of approximately 3,900 meters without incident, and the well will now be permanently plugged and abandoned," the company said.

Over the coming weeks, BPC said, the company will undertake a detailed evaluation of all technical information gathered during drilling. 

"In this context, BPC will review the appropriate way forward for future monetization of its business in The Bahamas, in particular with a view to renewal of a farm-in process," it added.

The company is optimistic that the results from Perseverance #1 will reduce technical risk for any future/further exploration in the region, as well as have a positive effect on its farmout efforts.

"In particular, BPC considers that the results from Perseverance #1 may provide a strong technical basis for renewed farm-in discussions, with a view to future drilling at other target locations within BPC's license areas," the company said.

Simon Potter, CEO of BPC, said: "I am proud to say that after many years of diligent effort we did what we said we would do: BPC drilled the Perseverance #1 well safely and without incident, testing for the presence of hydrocarbons in the Southern Seas of The Bahamas. This was the very specific objective of the well - not a scientific or geologic experiment, but to seek hydrocarbons in commercial quantities.

In a technical sense, the well successfully validated the existence of oil, seal and reservoir. Together, these factors verify the existence of a working Lower Cretaceous petroleum system and sequences of reservoir quality within the Aptian, pointing to the overall hydrocarbon potential of other untested prospects captured by BPC's extensive acreage holding. However, at the Perseverance #1 location the volumes of oil encountered are not commercial.

Perseverance #1 is the first exploration well in The Bahamas for decades, and the data gathered from this well will prove invaluable in providing a modern analysis as to the regional potential of the petroleum system, which, in our view, reduces technical risk for any future/further exploration in this new frontier province. The Company will proceed to undertake a comprehensive evaluation of the data derived from the well, as we believe the results provide a sound technical basis for renewed farm-in discussions.

Personally, I have worked on the Bahamas project for over 15 years and, along with the Board members and a number of the management team, have spent the majority of the last 10 years working to bring about the drilling of Perseverance #1. We all take great professional pride in the fact that BPC has delivered the well safely, responsibly and without incident, notwithstanding the challenges presented by Covid-19, low oil prices and a challenging market environment. Great credit is due to the professionalism of our operating and commercial teams, to whom I owe a huge thanks.

Elsewhere in the portfolio, in Trinidad we have producing oil fields and, in combination with assets in Suriname, we have upcoming drilling programs scheduled in 2021, such that the near-term operational activity focus will now shift toward those activities.

All of us at BPC are resolute in support of the diversification strategy embarked on during 2020, and we remain intent on delivering the potential that is latent across the entire portfolio."

BPC said that near term operational activity will now focus on the Company's 2021 work programme in Trinidad and Tobago and Suriname, targeting exit production of c.2,500 bopd and prospect maturation in Uruguay

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