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Brunei Shell Petroleum drilling in deep and shallow waters

Brunei Shell Petroleum (BSP) is about to start a deep-water drilling campaign off Brunei, while in shallow waters it has two jack-up rigs working at its Champion field, writes Russell Searancke.

The deep-water rig is the Transocean-owned semi-submersible Deepwater Nautilus, which BSP has contracted for one well with three additional one-well options starting this month.

BSP did not respond to inquiries about this month's deep-water work, but it is understood that the well will be either for exploration or appraisal.

One of the operator's most recent successful deep-water campaigns was the 2011 discovery of the Geronggong field in a water depth of about 1000 metres.

Geronggong is the deepest and most remote discovery to date in Brunei.

Meanwhile, the operator is also busy drilling shallow-water wells at the Champion field, one of its legacy assets in Brunei. Two jack-up drilling rigs, Aban Deep Driller 5 and Maersk Convincer, are currently working on development wells, while the tender-assist rig SKD Alliance is carrying out abandonment activities on four wells at Champion.

One of the operator's recent exploration highlights was an onshore oil discovery called Layang-Layang.

This find in the Lumut area was the "first significant discovery onshore for the company in 37 years", BSP said.

It was also the "first of its kind" because it confirmed a new geological concept called a shale diapir trap — a large cavity injected with shale under high sub-surface pressure, which had never previously been considered as a valid trap mechanism.

It is understood that three more exploration and appraisal wells are planned to be drilled in the same area.

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