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Horn Petroleum has announced the spudding of the Shabeel-1 well on the Dharoor Block in Puntland, Somalia, the first wells to be drilled in the country for over two decades

The company is currently preparing to drill ahead to a total planned maximum depth of 3800 m. Drilling operations have also commenced on the Shabeel North-1 well with the setting of the 30 inch surface casing and the drilling of a 50 m pilot hole.

The Sakson 501 rig will be used to drill both wells which are expected to take approximately 90 days each for drilling and evaluation. These two wells satisfy the first exploration period minimum work obligations of the Production Sharing Contracts for both the Dharoor and Nugaal Blocks. They are the first oil exploration wells to be drilled in over 20 years in the country.

The Shabeel and Shabeel North prospects are located on a Jurassic aged rift system which is part of the same system that has proven to be highly productive in the Masila and Shabwa Basins in Yemen that contain an estimated 6 billion barrels of oil. Both prospects are very large fault block prospects with internal most likely estimates of potential oil volumes of over 300mn barrels of recoverable oil. Source rocks are expected to be rich Jurassic Kimmeridgian shales in the deep portion of the rift immediately down dip from the Shabeel prospects. Reservoirs are expected to be sandstones and carbonates of the Lower Cretaceous and Jurassic systems analogous to Yemen.

Horn President and CEO, David Grellman, said, "The commencement of drilling in the Dharoor Valley block is a major milestone in the evaluation of the oil potential of Northern Somalia. We have had very strong support from the Puntland regional government and the local communities who are all keen to see development resume in the region after prolonged periods of internal strife. These wells are the first to be drilled into the deep areas of the rift basins and will be key to unlocking the hydrocarbon potential of this unexplored prospective trend."


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