Asia focused independent oil and gas company Salamander Energy has said that the Bang Nouan-1 exploration well in the Savannakhet PSC, Lao PDR, has been suspended ahead of a drill stem test of the Kuchinarai clastic section.

The well has been drilled by the MB Century 26 rig to a total depth of 3400mt and logging has been completed. Gas shows were observed in the secondary objective, the Triassic-age Kuchinarai sandstones, between 2020mt and 2120mt. Preliminary analysis of the log data indicates the presence of up to 25mt of potential net gas pay.

In the primary objective, Pha Nok Khao carbonate formation, zones of permeability were encountered below 3300mt but these zones were found to be water bearing.

The testing program will be carried out using a workover rig that is expected to begin mobilizing to site shortly. The MB Century 26 rig has been de-mobilized.

Salamander Energy has a 30% operated interest in the Savannakhet PSC having farmed out 30% to Origin Energy in December 2009.

James Menzies, chief executive of Salamander, said: “The Bang Nouan-1 well is a high risk exploration well, the nearest existing well data in the basin being located over 100km away.

“The presence of gas in the Triassic section and permeability in the Permian carbonates offers encouragement in helping to define the play system in this part of the basin, and we are looking forward to testing the Kuchinarai sandstones during the coming weeks.”