Petrel Energy Limited (Petrel Energy) has announced that the Operator Schuepbach Energy Uruguay has decided to temporarily suspend (at no cost) drilling operations in Uruguay.


• Drilling operations temporarily suspended to analyse difficult drilling conditions and to provide possibility of a crew break

• Operations to resume in next 10 to 14 days

• 4 well low cost conventional programme will address:

– multiple wells different targets

– significant conventional potential with very material upside

– oil and gas targets

– non-binary outcome, 3 of 4 wells have multiple objectives

Based on

slow progress and unexpected drilling problems it was considered prudent to provide some of the crew with a timely break and allow our drilling team to regroup and consider a change of drilling strategy and equipment. At this stage we do not anticipate a long break and would hope to resume operations within the next 10 to 14 days.

Managing Director David Casey said “while disappointing from a timing perspective we feel this is a necessary to not only allow us to regroup and refocus our efforts on addressing some unexpected drilling issues, but also to rest the crew following what has been an extended and challenging setup and shakedown period not only within Uruguay, but also for months prior through the design, construction and logistics of getting a new rig and ancillary equipment from North to South America.”

He went on to say “we are very comfortable that this is the best decision for the broader programme and will ultimately lead to better efficiencies and outcomes to enable us to best meet our 3 month drilling schedule. Given this is the first of a very exciting 4 well programme now is definitely the time to sort out these issues, which in no way compromise the efficacy of this results driven programme.” 

Petrel’s overarching vision for Uruguay is to drill four wells to cover as much of the concession area as possible while targeting multiple and different conventional exploration objectives within and across each well. More specifically the programme will seek to answer questions from the 2015 partner process such as:

• confirm source rock maturity, quality and extent

• confirm conventional reservoir quality and extent – Darcy permeability (>1000md) already measured in core samples 30km apart

• confirm migration and potential trap integrity – while not the primary objective 3 of the 4 wells are also targeting conventional structures for oil and gas trapped in either the same sequence or up-dip of oil shows and/or weeping core samples as well as provide new insights into the regional geology of this largely unknown sub-basin of the larger Parana Basin

• confirm validity of AVO anomalies identified on seismic

Ultimately Petrel would like to see this as yet another significant step for Uruguay along the path to potential energy self-sufficiency and possible energy exporter at some point in the future.