Tower Resources (LON:TRP) told investors that the Welwitschia exploration well, offshore Namibia, has reached a depth of 1,879 metres; however, mechanical problems mean progress has stalled until the end of May.
The Repsol operated well is expected to reach its primary target shortly after drilling resumes.
Welwitschia is being drilled by Rowan Renaissance Drillship, a new vessel, and a fault relating to the blow-out preventer (BOP) control system has led to the suspension of drilling.
"It is not unusual to encounter technical issues with new equipment and in particular BOPs on-board a new drill-ship such as the Rowan Renaissance.
“However, safety is of paramount importance to Tower and its JV Partners and we are confident that Repsol and Rowan will resolve the BOP issues shortly and we look forward to informing the market when drilling recommences.
“These issues have no connection with the prospects for the well itself, which remain as exciting as ever."
Prior to the problems with the blow-out preventer system, the drill programme had encountered other problems – with a ‘re-spud’ on the well being performed 50 metres from the original location after wellhead facilities had ‘sunk’.
The cost implications of the delays are currently being examined by Repsol and Rowan. Tower says it does not expect the impact on its drill costs will be material, and, according to Tower, it is the view of the Welwitschia venture partners that the well will be completed within budget despite the delay.