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Feto Kmaus – Drilling commences at East Timor's first onshore well since 1972

28 October 2021

Timor Resources has spudded Feto Kmaus 1 in onshore East Timor on 27 October 2021, marking the first onshore exploration drilling in the country in nearly 50 years. An onshore commercial discovery could be a game changer and pave the way for further exploration across the country.

Results could impact East Timor's acreage release programme, which has been delayed but is currently expected to open in January 2022. Included in the round are seven onshore blocks (as well as eleven offshore), which lie to the north and east of the TL-OT-17-8 permit in which Feto Kmaus 1 is located. The bid round is only the second offering of acreage in East Timor, with the last round opened in 2005.

Hydrocarbon revenue is an important part of East Timor's economy and has historically come from its offshore jurisdiction. With the ageing Bayu-Undan field in decline, and expected to cease production in the mid-2020's, any onshore commercial success could potentially be quickly monetised, bringing increased security ahead of some of the longer term offshore developments. Refined petroleum is also one of East Timor's biggest imports; an onshore discovery could reduce this dependence.

Well Details and Potential

Feto Kmaus 1 is being drilled by the Eastern Drilling "1000 Loadcraft" rig, which has been on site since August 2020. The well is expected to take around 37 days to drill. The commencement of the well had seen significant delays, with plans for drilling undertaken in 2019 and the well originally planned to spud in January 2020. The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), causing travel restrictions, state of emergency and quarantine requirements, has been the primary cause of the delay in drilling.

Drilling of Feto Kmaus 1 also kicks of a wider drilling campaign in which two wells are planned (Liurai to follow). Timor Resources had previously outlined a five well campaign, which could still come to fruition if these initial wells are successful.

Timor Resources expects to intersect approximately 430 m of gross reservoir interval, which is known to be oil bearing due to evidence from oil seeps at the surface. Previous wells, though drilled prior to 1972, have also indicated a petroleum system, with two oil discoveries in 1971. These lie around 6 km to the east and southeast of Feto Kmaus. If completed, the current drilling campaign will target four different play types, with the deepest well targeting the Triassic-Jurassic formation. The units to be targeted are the Pliocene-Pleistocene Viqueque Formation; the Permian-Eocene Lower Allochthon and the Triassic-Jurassic Babulu/Aitutu and Wai-Luli formations.

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