Canadian energy company Touchstone Exploration on Monday announced a “significant crude oil discovery” in its onshore Cascadura field in Ortoire.
Touchstone CEO Paul Baay said the results far exceeded any pre-drill expectations. “This well is not only a significant discovery and milestone for Touchstone, but we believe it also establishes a new development stage for onshore drilling in Trinidad. In the new year, we expect to test each zone independently in order to better understand the economic potential of the prospective oil sands, and if the findings are positive, it will set up an expansive development drilling program in the area."
Cascadura is a joint project of Touchstone, which has an 80 per cent working interest and Heritage Petroleum, which has 20 per cent. It was first drilled on October 4. The well was drilled to a total measured depth of 6,350 feet on December 9.
In a release, the company said Cascadura’s logs indicated significant prospective oil pay (a reservoir or portion of a reservoir that contains economically producible hydrocarbons) totalling 1,037 feet from 1,374 feet of gross sand. Eighty net feet of oil pay was encountered in the regional lower cruse sands at measured depths between 1,030 and 2,134 feet, and 180 net feet of oil pay was encountered in an Upper Herrera Gr7c thrust sheet at measured depths between 4,198 and 4,994 feet. These sands were not previously encountered in any offset wells (existing well bore that serves as a drilling guide) in the area.
Six hundred net feet of oil pay was encountered in a Middle Herrera Gr7c thrust sheet at measured depths between 5,516 and 6,162 feet. These sands were also not reported in any offset wells previously drilled in the area. And 177 net feet of oil pay was encountered in a Lower Herrera Gr7a thrust sheet at measured depths between 6,162 and 6,350 feet, which were one of the Company's targeted sands as identified in the offsetting well.
The Company expects to complete and test the Cascadura-1ST1 well in the first quarter of 2020. Cascadura is the second prospect of four on the Ortoire block, with initial test results at COHO-1 previously released by the Company on November 18.
Former energy minister Kevin Ramnarine, in a statement Monday congratulated Touchstone on the discovery. The company, a marginal producer whose exploration holdings are all in Trinidad, was awarded its Ortoire licence in October 2014 during Ramnarine’s tenure. “It was always expected that these three land blocks had the potential to resuscitate land-based oil production in TT and stimulate economic activity in the south eastern part of the island.”