Safety concerns prompt Tullow Oil to stop Guyana drilling
Jaguar is a “high pressure, high temperature” well similar to BP’s ill-fated well in the Gulf of Mexico.
GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Wednesday July 18, 2012 – Hopes for a major oil find off the coast of Guyana have been temporarily put on hold with the downing of tools at the Jaguar well after five months exploratory drilling.
British explorer Tullow Oil PLC said it stopped drilling the well due to safety concerns, while noting that it had already discovered some oil in the shallower parts of the well.
Tullow and its partners on the well, Canada-based CGX Energy, a division of Argentina's YPF, and Spain's Repsol , were hoping the Jaguar well would strike oil and help open up a new South American oil province.
"The decision to stop drilling at this point was unanimously agreed by all partners based on safety criteria," Tullow revealed in a statement on Monday.
According to Tullow, the well, which it had been drilling for five months and which is on an exploration licence in which it has a 30 percent stake, was stopped from going deeper due to the high levels of pressure encountered which the well could not handle.
The Jaguar well was described as a "high pressure, high temperature" well, similar to BP's ill-fated well in the Gulf of Mexico which caused an explosion in 2010 and led to the worst offshore oil spill in United States history.
Samples of light oil were recovered from the well even though it did not reach its deeper main target, Tullow said.
Last year, the company made a big oil discovery to the east of Guyana, off the coast of French Guiana, and it hopes to prove its geological theory that the oil-rich West African rocks of Ghana will be replicated across the Atlantic in South America.