Kulczyk Oil Ventures (KOV) has said that the Markisa-1 well on Block M in Brunei Darussalam has commenced drilling.

Markisa-1 is the second well to be drilled on Block M during 2010 by KOV and its joint venture partners, and the first well on Block M, Mawar-1, was cased to total depth in mid-September and suspended pending testing.

The Markisa prospect was identified on the 3D seismic data acquired by the joint venture in 2009.

The prospect is a separate undrilled fault compartment identified within the greater Belait Anticline, and the Markisa-1 well is considered to be low-to-moderate risk.

Markisa-1 is being drilled as a deviated well to test a sandstone reservoir that produced oil in the 1920’s and early 1930s in an adjacent fault block.

The well will also evaluate several secondary targets within the Miocene Belait Formation and is expected to intersect the main Belait thrust fault.

The well, which is designed to a total depth of approximately 1,335m, is being drilled by the MB Century Rig 104 and is expected to take approximately 28 days to drill and evaluate on a trouble free basis.

In the case of a discovery, the well is likely to be suspended pending testing by another rig designed for that purpose.

The well is located 30km south of the Seria oil field and the facilities in that area that include an oil refinery and terminal and the Brunei liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility.

The partners in Brunei Block M and in the Markisa-1 well are KOV Borneo (36%), Tap Energy (39%), China Sino Oil (21%) and Jana Corporation (4%).

The Markisa-1 exploratory well is the second of a minimum of three wells to be drilled on Block M by KOV and its joint venture partners in Block M during the Phase 1 exploration period ending in August 2011.