Melbana Energy has advanced its planning to drill two wells in Block 9, onshore Cuba, after receiving the first payment from Sonangol as part of the farm-in agreement.
The company has outlined that it is now working to confirm the design details of the drilling program, formally engage its preferred drilling contractor and service providers, order long lead items and establish an in-country project management team.
Following these tasks being completed, Melbana stated that the application would then be made for approval to commence drilling of the first well.
The company have forecast drilling operations to begin in the fourth quarter of 2020, subject to timing and movement implications due to COVID-19 management practices in place.
Melbana reported that the two well drilling program at Block 9 will test four separate targets with a total perspective resource of 236 million barrels of oil, two of which have been drilled previously and intercepted flowed hydrocarbons.
The drilling program will also aim to satisfy the minimum work obligations under the Block 9 production sharing contract (PSC) for both the current and subsequent exploration sub-periods.
Melbana has reported that the construction of the well pad for the first well, Alameda-1, is expected to commence before the end of next month.
The Alameda exploration well has been designed as a deviated well, with a total measured depth of 4000m and the second well, Zapato-1, designed to test a lower sheet closure and is located in the central portion of Block 9.
In December 2019, Melbana entered into a binding heads of agreement (HOA) with Sonangol to acquire a 70 per cent interest in Block 9 in return for funding 85 per cent of the cost of the two exploration wells and repaying Melbana’s past costs.
However, in May 2020, the HOA was replaced with a more detailed farm-in agreement.