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Heritage gives up Semliki oil well

By Vision Reporter

Added 17th July 2006 03:00 AM

HERITAGE Oil and Gas, the Calgary-based oil exploration company, has abandoned a portion of the Semliki Exploration Area on Block 3 and handed it back to the Government following a disappointing discovery of excessive carbondioxide in the oil there.

HERITAGE Oil and Gas, the Calgary-based oil exploration company, has abandoned a portion of the Semliki Exploration Area on Block 3 and handed it back to the Government following a disappointing discovery of excessive carbondioxide in the oil there.

By Emmy Olaki

HERITAGE Oil and Gas, the Calgary-based oil exploration company, has abandoned a portion of the Semliki Exploration Area on Block 3 and handed it back to the Government following a disappointing discovery of excessive carbondioxide in the oil there.

“We suspect that Semliki is a hydrocarbon province, but it is highly contaminated. It does not mean that the area does not contain oil, but the risk factor in drilling it was so high, that is why we abandoned it,” said Brian Smith, the vice- president of Heritage Oil last week.

As a result, the company has now launched a fresh exploration programme further north to drill a deeper well (Kingfisher-1) on a surface location on the Bugoma flats.

However, the well located on the shores of Lake Albert cannot be reached by road as the whole area is backed by stiff cliffs. The location can only be reached by air or water.

Smith said the company has had to build the biggest barge ever placed on that lake, designed from Texas Houston in the US, to transport equipment.

It has 24 separate components, weighing between 15 and 17 tonnes each.
“All these units were shipped to Mombasa and each unit was put on a fleet of 24 trucks to be moved to Mbegu,” Smith said.

Mbegu is the Heritage base on the lake shore from which the equipment will be moved by road to Bugoma.

The company has also built 1,400-metre-all weather airstrip at Bugoma which enables it to bring in personnel by air and evacuate them, in addition to moving people in and out.
“This has complicated drilling and makes it the most operationally challenging well to be drilled in the Lake Albert area,” said Smith.

The company expects to spend about $15.5m (about sh29b) on drilling Kingfisher because of the complexities of logistics resulting from the remoteness of the drill location.

Heritage gives up Semliki oil well

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