The Coho-1 well was spudded on 7 August. The well is targeting the Herrera formation, anticipated between 5,200 and 8,500 feet.
This will be the first of four planned exploration wells under the Ortoire exploration and production licence.
Coho-1 is described as an ‘offset’ of the Corosan-1 well and it is targeting the same hydrocarbon zones, but in an up-dip location.
Touchstone expects Coho-1 to also intersect a second and previously untested zone which, based on 3D seismic data, is deemed to be prospective.
Coho-1 is due to be drilled down to a depth of 8,545 feet and it is expected to cost around US$3mln. It is scheduled to take around 28 days to drill. Subject to initial results, the well will be tested using a smaller service rig and the test programme is expected to take up to 30 days – with a full flow test planned for each anticipated zone.
The company owns an 80% stake in the well, though it is responsible for 100% of the well costs.
"It is very exciting to commence drilling in Ortoire at our Coho-1 prospect,” said Paul Baay, Touchston chief executive.
“This is a significant milestone for Touchstone as we begin drilling the prospective exploration wells.
Baay added: “The exploration programme has been a priority for 2019, but it is important that we continue to see annual production growth from our current producing assets.
“We are currently prioritizing our development drilling locations and will continue to focus on maintaining base production.”
Touchstone also this morning updated investors on its production operations in Trinidad, reporting an average rate of 1,829 barrels per day through the first six days of August and told investors that it expects to maintain a similar rate over the third quarter.
It noted crude oil sales of 1,768 barrels per day in the second quarter and 1,944 bpd for the first six months of the year. Certain operations were offline during the second quarter as the company pursued well optimisation works – with flowing wells converted into pumped wells as natural rates declined.