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Touchstone Exploration employees explore a well in the onshore Ortoire Block in South East, Trinidad. (File photo)

Touchstone Exploration ramps up investment, preparation in Trinidad’s Ortoire block

Touchstone Exploration employees explore a well in the onshore Ortoire Block in South East, Trinidad. (File photo)

With the discovery of natural gas resources at the onshore Ortoire block in Trinidad and Tobago, Canadian energy company Touchstone Exploration Inc is making a significant investment in preparation for further exploration in the area, as well as the buildout of pipelines.

The company on Friday announced in a release accompanying financial reports for the second quarter of 2020 that it “Invested [CN]$1,249,000 in Ortoire exploration activities, primarily focused on Chinook-1 lease preparations and Coho-1 tie-in operations”.

(File Photo)

In particular, Touchstone Exploration revealed that it was in the process of installing tie-in pipelines at the Coho-1 natural gas well, with facilities construction also underway.

Just a day before the release of the results for Q2 2020, the company spudded the Chinook-1 exploration, with Paul R Baay, president and chief executive officer of Touchstone commenting, “The spudding of the Chinook well marks the next phase of our Ortoire block exploration programme that has already delivered two successful natural gas wells in just over a year.

“The Chinook well is being drilled in proximity to the original 1959 well and will further evaluate the turbidite concept eastward from the original Coho discovery. With the assistance of a 3-D seismic survey, we are now expecting to move up [the] structure to target the Herrera sands,” he added.

Paul Baay, CEO of Touchstone (Photo: Energy Now TT)

Hopes for days ahead

Over the next 40 days, the company aims to drill between 8,000 and 9,900 of the well it shares with Heritage Petroleum, which has a 20 per cent interest in the well. As with the Cascadura well, Touchstone hopes the exploration of the Chinook-1 well will yield hydrocarbon prospects.

“In addition to the initial work undertaken at Chinook, we have made progress across the Ortoire block, commissioning the previously announced Cascadura area independent reserves evaluation as well as commencing the Coho-1 tie-in project. In conjunction, we have been diligently working with the relevant government agencies to fulfil our regulatory and environmental obligations,” Baay stated.

“The spudding of the Chinook well marks the next phase of our Ortoire block exploration programme that has already delivered two successful natural gas wells in just over a year.”

— Touchstone Exploration Inc President and CEO Paul R Baay

The regulatory and environmental obligations to which the president and CEO referred include securing a Certificate of Environmental Compliance (“CEC”) from the Trinidad Environmental Management Authority. Furthermore, Touchstone said it is working with the National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago “to identify the optimal tie-in point for petroleum volumes from the Cascadura discovery.

“Earlier this month a field visit was conducted with NGC to review possible pipeline routes to existing NGC facilities. Final project design is contingent upon the drilling results from Chinook-1 and Cascadura Deep, as it is anticipated that any potential additional petroleum volumes would be aggregated to one gathering system,” the press release stated

Touchstone Exploration Inc is working with the relevant agencies in Trinidad and Tobago to comply with regulatory and environmental obligations. (Photo: Value the Markets)