Grenada Makes Splash With First Ever Offshore Wildcat

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The Global Petroleum Group-operated Nutmeg new-field wildcat (NFW) currently drilling in Grenada’s offshore was named after the fragrant tropical seed that helped to make this “Spice Isle” famous. While there’s no hard rule behind the arcane practice of naming prospects and wildcats, observers can’t help to wonder if GPG’s word choice for the island’s first ever offshore wildcat portends the sweet smell of success.

Nutmeg 2 Well Location

Nutmeg oil and gas well location

Grenadian Prime Minister Keith Mitchell, who also acts as Energy Minister, popped the cork over the planned well in June.

“(GPG’s) achievements to date, represents the furthest any company conducting petroleum exploration in Grenada has ever reached—and the quest continues, with future prospects in sight,” Mitchell said at the time.

But there’s only been radio silence since then.

To use the vernacular of wildcatters, GPG’s Nutmeg is a tight well. According to industry sources, the Nutmeg-2 NFW is drilling in an area of the offshore covered by SeaBird’s 1,600 sq km 3D survey. That’s the survey shot by the crew of the “Geo Pacific” in 2013.
Sources also say that GPG tapped Transocean’s “Development Driller III” S/S for the drilling campaign targeting objectives in the Eocene. The well is sited in water depths of around 180m. the NFW has a planned total depth of about 3,352m near Grenada’s maritime border with troubled Venezuela.

Several prospects have been identified, and if Nutmeg hits pay, more exploration work is expected.

Prime Minister Mitchell’s initial optimism about the well is understandable. The 11 licenses extending 7,450 sq km, were awarded in 2008 but lay dormant for a while after the election of a new government. It clearly makes sense for Grenada to open its doors for energy exploration.

With a Gross Domestic Product of just over US$ 1 billion, this balmy island with about 100,000 inhabitants needs to keep its tourist-driven service industry and spice farming sector primed for more expansion. Grenada is the globe’s second largest supplier of the spice, according to the World Bank.

With its energy needs likely to grow on the back of its much applauded economic recovery, Grenada’s forward looking Parliament recently passed the Hydrocarbon Exploration Incentive Bill 2017 (Hydrocarbon Exploration Incentive Act 2017) that contained a package of incentives to spur exploration for oil and gas.

While the GPG-operated Nutmeg well is drilling ahead, more companies are looking at Grenada’s untapped potential. Even though the government had to fend off criticism over a non-binding agreement late last year, MX Oil and the Caribbean island nation signed a Memorandum of Understanding that, if successful, could serve as the basis for a potential Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) covering part of Grenada’s share of the Tobago Basin near the Venezuelan/Trinidadian Patao-Poinsettia natural gas trend.

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Tom Liskey