2779338
Touchstone in Trinidad gas find.

GEISHA KOWLESSAR-ALONZO

[email protected]

Touchstone Exploration Inc has announced it has spudded the Cascadura Deep-1 well ahead of schedule.

The company added it is currently drilling the surface hole to a planned casing depth of 900 feet.

“The surface location is on the same drilling pad as the previously drilled Cascadura-1ST1 well with the bottom hole location anticipated to be 1,300 feet to the south east,” Touchstone said in a statement yesterday.

It added the well is targeting three distinct Herrera thrust sheets and is designed for a total depth of 10,600 feet.

The current drilling plan is based on a 45-day drilling schedule.

As a result of the advancement of the Cascadura Deep-1 well, the Company is designing a program to commence testing of the Chinook-1 well prior to the end of 2020.

Touchstone explained the programme includes coordinating the mobilization of the test equipment and service rig to begin testing immediately upon casing the Cascadura Deep-1 well.

“ This expectation is subject to a number of uncertainties, including receipt of required regulatory approvals, weather, and drilling operations at Cascadura Deep-1,” Touchstone said.

Paul R. Baay, President and Chief Executive Officer, said,

“I am delighted to report that the team continues to push forward with operations at Cascadura Deep-1 and Chinook-1 ahead of schedule.

“ While the pandemic has caused delays regarding the tie-in of Coho-1, we are pleased to have received initial approvals for the extension of the Ortoire licence, a recognition of the Trinidad Government’s commitment to this exploration program and a reward for the recent exploration success that Touchstone has enjoyed,” Baay said.

He noted his extension will provide the company with the time required to drill an additional well and complete the required seismic program in the first half of 2021.

“ I ask shareholders to continue to be patient with us as we move forward and finalize the gas purchase agreement with NGC, and I look forward to providing an update to the market in due course,” Baay added

Touchstone added it has been formally notified by the Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries that the exploration phase of Ortoire exploration and production licence has been approved by the government for a nine-month extension to July 31, 2021.

In addition, the company’s 2D seismic commitment has been reduced from 85-line to 20-line kilometres.

The company said in exchange for the extension and seismic program reduction, it has agreed to drill an additional well to a true vertical depth of 10,000 feet prior to June 2021.

The formal amending document has yet to be executed by all participating parties, the company added.

It said it is awaiting final approval of the required Certificate of Environmental Clearance to commence Coho-1 surface facility operations, which is anticipated to be received by the end of November.

The company explained that as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the process was delayed due to community consultations that were required to be performed on a one-on-one basis versus a traditional town hall meeting format. Upon receipt of approval and the required notice period, field operations are expected to begin within approximately 30 days, it added. “Touchstone has all of the required equipment in Trinidad to mobilize and therefore expects first production from the Coho-1 well late in the first quarter of 2021,” the company said.

It added it continues to negotiate the final details of the natural gas sales agreement with NGC.

The agreement, which includes all future natural gas sales from the Ortoire block, is anticipated to be executed prior to the end of the year.