BEIJING (Reuters) - Top Chinese oil and gas firm CNPC has started drilling its first overseas offshore exploration well in the Red Sea Basin off Sudan, CNPC’s inhouse newspaper reported on Tuesday.
Tokar-1 is one of two exploration wells in Block 15, located some 130 kilometres southeast of Sudan port, that CNPC and its partners plan to complete drilling in six months, the China Petroleum Daily said.
The wells have a designed drilling depth of 3,700 metres, and water depths of 38 metres and 52 metres respectively.
Sudan awarded Block 15 in 2005 to a consortium of five firms including CNPC, Malaysia’s state oil firm Petronas , Sudan’s state oil firm Sudapet, Nigeria’s Express Petroleum and Sudanese firm High Tech Group.
Petronas and CNPC each have a 35 percent interest in the block while others hold the rest.
CNPC and its partners will drill five wildcat wells with total minimum expenditure of $58 million over six years, according to a Petronas statement in 2005.
CNPC is the parent of PetroChina, Asia’s largest oil and gas producer.