Australia-based Santos has spudded the AAL-4X appraisal well on the Northwest Natuna production sharing contract (PSC) in offshore Indonesia.

AAL-4X is at a total vertical depth subsea (TVDSS) of 200m in a 24in hole, and will be drilled to a planned maximum of 1,232m TVDSS.

Drilling is expected to take around 48 days for completion.

Santos will use the Raniworo jack-up drilling rig to drill the well in depths of 72m.

"G Sand reservoir is estimated to contain 289 million barrels gross oil in place with 36 million barrels of gross recoverable oil."

The Natuna PSC consists of the Ande Ande Lumut (AAL) oil project, which includes the K Sand reservoir with 101 million barrels gross recoverable oil, and the underlying G Sand reservoir.

The oil project came with an approved plan of development using a wellhead platform with over 40 production wells and a leased floating production, storage and offloading vessel.

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Drilling of the AAL-4X appraisal well is aimed at targeting the G Sand reservoir, which is estimated to contain 289 million barrels gross oil in place with 36 million barrels of gross recoverable oil.

The G Sand appraisal is expected to help facilitate the preparation of plan of development for the resource.

The resource is planned to be developed in conjunction with the already approved K Sand development.

Northwest Natuna is equally owned by AWE Limited and Santos.