Europa holds two licences in the Aquitaine Basin, Bearn des Gaves and Tarbes Val d'Adour, adjacent to the world-class Lacq-Meillon gas fields.
The main focus for Europa in France is the appraisal of the Berenx gas project located in the Bearn des Gaves Permit in the Aquitaine Basin, onshore France. Thanks to an estimated resource of up to 500BCF gas in place, the concession has the potential to transform Europa's production profile.
The structure has previously been explored and drilled - two wells, Berenx-1 (1969) and Berenx-2 (1972), both encountered strong gas shows, loss zones and mud kicks. A 500m thick gas bearing column in a naturally fractured carbonate reservoir exhibiting similar reservoir geology to the nearby 9TCF Lacq Field was encountered by the Berenx-2 well. In 1975 the well was re-entered and tested resulting in gas flow to surface. Low gas prices in the 1980s and a change in strategy by the then Permit holder led to the relinquishment of the licences.
Europa possesses all data connected to the Berenx-1 and Berenx-2 wells. Good quality 2D seismic exists for the Permit as well as a reprocessed 3D seismic dataset covering the area between Berenx and Lacq. Europa's mapping shows the original Berenx wells were drilled on the western edge of a sizeable structure which could hold in excess of 500 billion cubic feet of recoverable gas resources. In the recent Competent Person's Report, ERC Equipoise estimated gross mean unrisked contingent resources of 277Bcf for the deep Berenx gas play. The difference between ERC's and Europa's resource estimates is largely attributable to area of closure. Europa is more confident mapping in a complex geological terrain with various vintages of both 2D and 3D seismic data. The Permit also benefits from being located close (20km) to the Lacq Field, which provides a straightforward export route, allowing the gas to be processed in an existing facility with spare capacity.
Reprocessing and interpretation of existing seismic during the period identified a previously unknown shallow gas play in carbonate reservoir on the Berenx structure itself, as well as at two other structures in the Permit area. Previous exploration on the concession had focussed only on deep lying gas prospects.
Current activity on the Permit is focussed on maturing the shallow gas prospects with the intention of delivering well locations. Europa intends to farm-out this Permit.
The Permit has been extended until 18 January 2015. Tarbes Val d'Adour contains several oil accumulations that were previously licensed by Elf but were abandoned in 1985 due to a combination of technical issues and low oil prices. Two fields, Jacque and Osmets, were drilled using vertical wells which generated modest production levels.