Company News

UPDATE 1-Tullow and Eco drill exploration well in Guyana's Orinduik block

(Adds Eco Atlantic CEO comments)

LONDON, Aug 27 (Reuters) -

* Eco Atlantic and Tullow have started drilling a new exploration well in Guyana’s offshore Orinduik block, where they made a discovery with partner Total this month.

* “The well will take approximately three weeks to drill,” Eco said of the Joe-1 well, drilling of which began on Aug. 25.

* The new well is the second of Eco’s two-well drill programme for Guyana this year and the company is fully funded for a further six potential exploration, appraisal or development wells on the Orinduik block, it said.

* The Joe prospect is estimated to contain about 148 million barrels of oil equivalent resources.

* When asked about potential interest in Eco’s assets and shares given its exposure to much-watched basins in Guyana and Namibia, Eco Chief Executive Gil Holzmann said every big oil and gas company is looking to enter Guyana.

* “We do seek all routes and alternatives to create the biggest shareholder value ... Any combination of any option is on the table,” he said.

* He said that a well Tullow is due to drill in Orinduik’s neighbouring Kanuku block next month will inform drilling plans for the first half of next year, including an appraisal well in the Jethro prospect and about three further exploration wells.

* Shares in Eco and Tullow soared on Aug. 12, when Tullow announced drilling indications that the Jethro prospect is estimated to hold more than 100 million recoverable barrels of oil, in excess of previous expectations.

* Qatar Petroleum last month said it had agreed a deal with Total to buy 40% of the French oil major’s 25% stake in the Orinduik block and 40% of its 25% participating interest in the Kanuku block. (Reporting by Shadia Nasralla Editing by Edmund Blair and David Goodman)