Reconnaissance Energy Africa (ReconAfrica), a Canadian oil and gas company, has announced the start of drilling operations on the first well (6-2) in the deep Kavango Basin in the Kalahari Desert of North East Namibia.

The well is part of the initial three well programme that is carried out to evaluate the Permian aged Kavango basin.

ReconAfrica said that it is planning to drill the well to a depth of 12,500ft to assess the potential hydrocarbon systems in one of the five major sub-basins of the larger and extensive basin.

Reconnaissance Energy Africa drilling and completions senior vice president Nick Steinsberger said: “Drilling the first three wells in a newly discovered Permian basin, where one company holds all of the rights, is certainly a rare opportunity.

“There are many important similarities between the Kavango basin and the Permian Basin in West Texas, one of the world’s most prolific producing basins, where I have been actively drilling and completing wells for many years.

“I anticipate the first well will take up to 45 days to reach total depth and initial analysis of all prospective productive targets.”

Drilling will be conducted using 1,000 HP rig

The first prospective section well, which be drilled using its 1,000 HP rig (Jarvie-1), is designed to reach 4,800ft, where intermediate casing will be set.

Between intervals of 1,000ft to 4,800ft, sidewall cores and well logs will be run to identify targets. The well is expected to reach the top of the Permian section at about 4,000ft.

The second section of the well is designed to reach a total depth of 12,500ft through the intermediate to lower Permian sections.

To adhere to its environmental practices, ReconAfrica is working with Valence Drilling Fluids, a North American company offering organic and biodegradable drilling fluids.

Valence Drilling Fluids vice president Gareth Eckhout said: “We welcome the opportunity to work alongside ReconAfrica on this project as they are a company that understands the importance of environmental protection with proven results.”

Last February, the company agreed to acquire Crown 750 drilling rig from Henderson Rigs.