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Shell drilling offshore French Guiana to prove extension of Jubilee play

FRENCH GUIANA -- Northern Petroleum, a minority partner with Shell, provided an update for a four-well drilling program that has been committed to after the 2011 exploration success in the new oil province of French Guiana. The Zaedyus oil discovery well, GM-ES-1, encountered 72 m of net oil pay in two turbidite sand systems, successfully proving that the Jubilee play is mirrored across the Atlantic from West Africa.

The joint venture, led by Shell, decided to extend the exploration activities through committing to and funding a four-well drilling program and contracted the Stena IceMAX dynamically positioned drillship. The recently completed GM-ES-2 was the first exploration well in this current program and the drillship will be moved onto the GM-ES-3 location to drill the second well in the four well exploration programme.

The objective of the well is to explore for significant oil volumes in the fan, help determine the Cingulata subsurface model, possibly determine an oil-water contact, assess the reservoir potential in the north western part of the larger Cingulata fan system and better understand the potential of the entire block. GM-ES-3 is forecast to take approximately three to four months and operational performance should benefit from the learning experiences of the first two successfully completed wells.

Northern owns a net 1.25% interest in the offshore exploration licence ‘Guyane Maritime’. Northern is in partnership with Shell, 45%, Total 25%, and Tullow Oil 27.5%.



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