Salamander Energy has begun drilling the Cat Ba-1X (101-CB-1X) exploration well in block 101-100 / 04, offshore northern Vietnam.

The well is being drilled using the Aquamarine Driller jack-up rig to a depth of approximately 1,900m.

The initial target of the well is to appraise the Palaeozoic carbonate structure and the secondary target is the Tertiary clastic section.

The company estimates that the well holds prospective recoverable resources of 100 million barrels of oil.

Drilling the well is expected to take 25 days to complete on a dry-hole basis.

Salamander owns a 30% stake in block 101-100 / 04, subject to final government approval of the farm-out of a 20% interest to JX-Nippon Oil & GAS Exploration in May 2011.