Trans-Orient Petroleum Ltd. has abandoned the Tumuli-1 well in PPL 213, in the western highlands of Papua-New Guinea. The well was plugged and abandoned at a depth of 6,600 ft. High formation pressures and unstable rock conditions encountered during drilling resulted in the decision to terminate the well several hundred meters above the level at which the seismic data indicated the Toro sandstone objective would be reached. In addition, a deviation of some 30º from vertical built up during drilling, due to the steep dips of the rock strata, and it was considered that given the range of problems encountered, it was unlikely the Toro objective could be reached using this particular drilling operation.
This well has fulfilled the drilling obligation for the first permit year of PPL 213, which was granted in February 1999 for an initial six-year term. The PPL 213 joint venture will now interpret the results of Tumuli-1 and review all exploration possibilities in this large and prospective license area, before deciding on the acquisition of seismic data to define sub-surface structure on the preferred exploration targets. There are numerous structures in the license area which are worthy of further exploration, not excluding the Tumuli structure itself.