Touchstone Exploration has announced making a new gas discovery on the onshore Ortoire block in Trinidad and Tobago following the drilling of the Chinook-1 well.

According to the Canadian firm, drilling samples, and open hole wireline logs showed that the exploration well intersected a significant Herrera turbidite package having a total thickness of 2,000ft containing over 1,480ft of sand.

Touchstone said that open hole well logs and drilling samples suggest that the sands hold an aggregate 589 net feet of natural gas pay across three unique thrust sheets.

In the Gr7a section of the overthrust Herrera sands, the Chinook-1 well intersected 341 net feet of hydrocarbon pay at measured depths in the range of 8,154ft-8,710ft.

The overthrust Gr7a sands were the main target of the Canadian oil and firm. The target was identified originally in the offsetting BW-7X well.

As per the company, in the Gr7bc section of the intermediate Herrera sands, 180 net feet of hydrocarbon pay was identified at measured depths in the range of 8,850ft-9,750ft.

The encountered sands in the thrust sheet also correlate to the BW-7X well and were its secondary target, said Touchstone Exploration.

Apart from the Herrera sandstones and the related hydrocarbon discoveries, an additional 20 net feet of hydrocarbon pay was identified in the Cruse formation at a depth range of 2,996ft-3,021ft. The company claimed that this represents a new discovery in the area that was not seen in offsetting well data.

Chinook-1 is the third exploration well to have been spudded on the Ortoire block and the third hydrocarbon discovery in the onshore concession since beginning the exploration drilling programme in August 2019. The first was an oil discovery in December 2019, while the second was a gas discovery in February 2020.

Next plans of Touchstone Exploration for the Ortoire block

Touchstone Exploration president and CEO Paul Baay said: “The results from the Chinook well exceeded pre-drill expectations. The successful exploration well further confirms the geological model developed by our team and is expected to provide significant development opportunities in the Chinook area.

“With both the shallow and deepest zones being new to the area, it also identified future exploration opportunities.

“The Company’s focus is now on the drilling of the Cascadura Deep exploration well, which will impact the timing of Chinook-1 production testing operations to ensure the safety of operations.”

Touchstone expects to launch a comprehensive completion and testing plan in the first quarter of next year to assess the economic potential of the hydrocarbon sands.

The company said that Well Services Petroleum’s Rig #80 could be moved to the Cascadura Deep location before the end of the month.

Touchstone holds the operating stake of 80% in the Ortoire exploration block, with Heritage Petroleum being the other partner with a 20% stake.