February 3, 2010 (KHARTOUM) — Sudanese government has started drilling its first overseas offshore exploration well in the Red Sea Basin off Sudan with the help of the state China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC).
Sudanese minister of Energy and Mining Al-Zubair Ahmed Al-Hassan and Governor of the Red Sea Province Mohamed Taher have attended the launching ceremony of the drilling operations on Monday February 1.
The well falls in Area 15 under the franchise of the Red Sea Petroleum Operating Co., a consortium of five firms including the 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 15.
The Sudanese minister said results are positive from prospecting for oil and gas in the Red Sea.
Tokar-1 is one of two exploration wells in Block 15, located some 130 kilometers southeast of Port Sudan. The CNPC and its partners plan to complete drilling in six months.
The wells have a designed drilling depth of 3,700 meters, and water depths of 38 meters and 52 meters respectively.
Sudan started producing oil in 1998 with an initial daily output of 150,000 barrels which rose to the current 500,000 barrels. Most of the current production is from oil wells in southern Sudan. The government plans to launch this year exploration and production of oil and gas in southern Darfur and Sennar states, besides another block (10) in eastern Sudan.