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Buru Energy secures rig contract for major Canning Basin drilling campaign

The drilling rig for the three-well 2021 Canning Basin program has been confirmed as Ensign Rig 963, a sister rig to Ensign 970 that is operating at West Erregulla in the Perth Basin.

Buru Energy Ltd - Buru Energy secures rig contract for major Canning Basin drilling campaign
Spud date of the first well, Kurrajong 1, is on track for early to mid-June with site construction underway.

Buru Energy Limited (ASX:BRU) (OTCMKTS:BRNGF) (FRA:BUD) is gearing up for its 2021 Canning Basin drilling program, with the drill rig confirmed and good progress on pre-spud activity. 

This field program will kick-off as the northern wet season draws to a close and will include a three-well drilling program as well as an extensive 2D seismic program with more than 1,100 kilometres of data acquisition. 

The two well exploration drilling program is on conventional oil prospects (Rafael and Kurrajong), targeting large prospective resources and will also include a development well on the Ungani Oilfield (Ungani 8) that is expected to increase production rates and recover additional oil volumes. 

“Very big year for Buru”

Buru has recruited a very experienced and multi-skilled drilling team that has been working on the project since the beginning of the year.

Buru executive chairman Eric Streitberg said: “We are very pleased with the way the program is coming together in what will be a very big year for Buru in the Canning. 

“We are drilling two of the largest onshore conventional oil prospects in Australia and success will be transformational for Buru, for the Kimberley and for Western Australia.” 

Ensign 963 drilling rig

An Ensign 963 rig has been selected as the preferred rig for the drilling program and the company has entered into a Letter of Intent (LOI) for the rig including an initial payment for the commencement of mobilisation.

This rig is an ADR 1500 with 1,500 horsepower AC Electric Drawworks, a 750,000 pounds hook capacity, 800,000 pounds rated electric top drive and a nominal depth capacity of 5,500 metres.

The ITT requirements were for a fully crewed, high capacity rig, capable of drilling the deep Rafael 1 exploration well and the Ungani 8 horizontal well – and there are few rigs in Australia capable of meeting these requirements.

The Ensign 963 is available in the timeframe required to meet the program objectives and has a fully craneless design that will enable it to be moved efficiently and economically.

Streitberg said: “Ensign 963 is a very capable rig and Ensign Energy is a very experienced and capable rig operator. 

“Our drilling team has brought an outstanding level of professionalism to the program and we have received great support from the service companies. 

“On track to start fieldwork”

The Ensign 963 rig is currently in the Beetaloo Basin where it has most recently been drilling deep and complex wells for Origin Energy Ltd (ASX:ORG) (OTCMKTS:OGFGF) (FRA:ORL), Buru’s joint venture partner for the Canning Basin exploration program.

The timing of the start of the program is partly dependent on the timing of the necessary pre-acceptance maintenance and function checks required to be carried out by Ensign, and also on Buru’s rig acceptance inspections, with the rig expected to be on the Kurrajong 1 drilling location in late May to early June. 

Streitberg said: “It is a multi-faceted process to get ready to spud the first well, and we are on track and looking forward to starting work in the field and drilling some world-class oil prospects.”

Long lead items and services including well logging, cementing, drilling fluid supply, drilling bits and other ancillary services for the 2021 well campaign are being finalised.

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