(Touchstone, 6.Feb.2023) — Touchstone Exploration Inc. (TSX, LSE: TXP) has commenced operations at the Royston-1X sidetrack well located on the onshore Ortoire block in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Touchstone has an 80 percent operating working interest in the well, with Heritage Petroleum Company Limited holding the remaining 20 percent working interest.
Touchstone has completed the mobilization of Star Valley Drilling Rig #25 to the Royston surface location, and the drilling rig has passed all required pre-drilling inspections. Royston-1X is a sidetrack well reentering the previously drilled Royston-1 well and is expected to be drilled to a measured depth of 11,300 ft, targeting hydrocarbon accumulations in the Middle Miocene Herrera overthrust, intermediate, and subthrust sheets.
The Royston-1 exploration well was drilled in 2021 to a total depth of 10,700 ft and identified over 1,000 ft of Herrera section in the overthrust and intermediate sheets, encountering light, sweet crude oil in both sheets.
Touchstone is targeting to drill the Royston-1X well through the previously tested Herrera sands to penetrate new sands at the base of the intermediate sheet and into the untested subthrust sheet. The well is anticipated to be drilled and logged within 45 days, and the company will provide further updates when drilling operations are completed.
Paul Baay, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented:
“The Royston-1 well drilled in 2021 showed tremendous potential, flowing significant volumes of 33-degree API oil from both the overthrust and intermediate sheets; however, mechanical challenges prevented meaningful production from the well. The challenges encountered at Royston-1 and the lessons learnt have helped us to design a drilling plan to optimally evaluate the Herrera Formation. As we target the deeper level, our enhanced understanding of the structure will allow us to assess the full potential of the intermediate sheet, which was not fully penetrated or completed in Royston-1, as well as the subthrust sheet which is a prolific target in offsetting oil pools.
Following our recent capital raise, we are excited for 2023 as we commence our latest drilling program and continue construction of our Cascadura facility with a goal of bringing on production as soon as practicable.”