Newly repaired bridge

Moving to drilling site: A rig crosses the newly repaired bridge at Saunders Trace to go to the site in the Ortoire block in south east Trinidad.

CANADIAN energy company, Touchstone Exploration says its Royston-1 exploration well has encountered substantial hydrocarbon accumulations based on drilling and wireline log data.

In a statement on Friday, Touchstone Exploration said testing done on the Royston-1 well logs indicated hydrocarbon accumulations in the Lower Cruse, Karamat and Herrera sections of the Ortoire block in south east Trinidad.

The company said an aggregate 393 gross feet of hydrocarbon pay was identified in two unique thrust sheets in the Herrera sands from 9,700 feet to total depth, with wireline logs indicating that the well was in hydrocarbon pay at total depth. The well was drilled to a total depth of 10,700 feet and is the deepest exploration well drilled by Touchstone to date, the company said.

The well encountered a total Herrera turbidite thickness of 1,014 feet (609 feet net sand) in two stacked thrust sheets, Touchstone Exploration said.

Touchstone Exploration president Paul Baay, said: “The Royston-1 well was the fifth and final well of the first phase of our exploration drilling programme on the Ortoire block, with logging data indicating better than expected results.

“The amount of identified hydrocarbon pay further verifies the opportunity in the block for our future phase two exploration programme. Prior to drilling, we targeted 200 feet of gross sand pay, with results almost doubling our expectations. The team has commenced planning production testing operations in the Herrera Formation using the same equipment that verified the Cascadura discovery…With the assistance of the new seismic and upcoming production testing data, we anticipate this to be the largest geological structure identified on the block in the Herrera Formation.”

Touchstone’s chief operating officer James Shipka, emphasised that while the 393 feet of identified hydrocarbon pay exceeded the company’s objective, “and while we believe the discovery to be natural gas, we will wait for testing results to confirm”.

Touchstone has an 80 per cent operating working interest in the well, while wholly State-owned Heritage Petroleum holds the remaining 20 per cent working interest.

In a statement yesterday, Heritage Petroleum said well testing will soon commence on the Herrera Formation, which will provide a better picture of the economic potential of the well.

CEO of Heritage Arlene Chow said: “The Royston-1 well results are very encouraging, especially for development of the Herrera plays, which I believe has significant potential both in the Ortoire block and elsewhere on Heritage’s acreage.

“I also commend the drilling teams for their safety performance and thank the teams at Touchstone, The Energy Chamber and the Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries who went the extra mile to ensure the availability of the Covid-19 vaccine for the teams working closely together in the Ortoire block.”

Heritage said it wished to recognise Touchstone for the successful completion of its joint venture operator obligations with respect to the first phase of exploration drilling on the lease.

The local energy company said it was pleased to highlight the collaborative effort between the Touchstone and the Heritage teams throughout the exploration campaign; from prospect identification, review and approvals and more recently, working together on necessary facility, road and bridge upgrades to facilitate the drilling activity on the block.


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