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FOTO:Noble Sam Croft drillship; Source: Noble Corporation

Oil and gas company Apache Corporation has decided to drill even deeper at its first exploratory well in Block 58 offshore Suriname. 

In an update on Monday, Apache said that drilling operations on the Maka Central-1 well started in late September with an expected drill time of 30 to 60 days. This is Apache’s first of three committed wells in Block 58 offshore Suriname.

The company said that, upon reaching a depth of approximately 6,200 meters, it had elected to conduct various testing activities in two distinct Upper Cretaceous play types.

Following the completion of these tests, the company will set casing, make equipment modifications to the rig, and resume drilling in mid-December to evaluate a third play type in the Cretaceous.

The new target depth of the well is approximately 6,900 meters. Following the drilling operations, further testing and evaluation will be conducted as appropriate.

Back in October, Apache said it had expected to reach total depth in November at approximately 6,325 meters. The company also in October exercised two of three option wells for the 2014-built Noble Sam Croft drillship, extending the contract to March 2020.

The drillship is operating in Suriname with one option well remaining. According to an estimate by Bassoe Offshore, the dayrate for the Noble Sam Croft contract with Apache is $170,000. The rig’s previous dayrate with W&T in the Gulf of Mexico was estimated at $160,000.