Somalia, May 19, 2012 – Horn Petroleum Corp has suspended drilling at
its Shabeel well in Somalia's Puntland and said it will move the
drilling rig away from the area before reaching the planned depth of
The well in the Dharoor valley hit a metamorphic basement at a depth of
3,430 meters, Horn Petroleum said in a statement on Thursday. Basement
is the rock layer below which economic oil or natural gas reservoirs are
unlikely to be found.
Horn Petroleum's shares more than halved to 77 Canadian cents on
Thursday on the Toronto Venture Exchange.
The rig used to drill the Shabeel well will now be moved 3.5 kilometers
north of the current location, the company said.
The well, which earlier hit a 12 to 20 meter hydrocarbon pay, a measure
of a reservoir's thickness, could hold up to 3 meters of additional
potential hydrocarbon pay at a depth of 3,246 to 3,430 meters.
"They (the latest hydrocarbon pay) are not considered to warrant testing
at this time...," Horn Petroleum said.
Canada's Africa Oil Corp owns a 51 percent stake in Horn Petroleum,
which holds a 60 percent working interest in the Dharoor and Nugaal
blocks in Puntland -- a semi-autonomous region in the northeast of
Africa Oil began drilling an exploratory well in Puntland region in
January, the first to do so in the country since civil war erupted two
Somalia, mired in conflict since warlords and Islamist militants reduced
the government to impotence, represents one of the final frontiers in
Africa to be explored. The country has no proven hydrocarbon reserves.
Horn Petroleum's other partners in the Dharoor and Nugaal blocks are
Australia's Range Resources Ltd and Red Emperor Resources.
Africa Oil shares fell as much as 8 percent to C$6.70 on the Toronto