When I arrived in Brunei, we knew that there were other fruits to be harvested from MLJ itself. Already the MLJ North panel had been discovered but deep drilling had to be stopped in this panel due to a drilling kick from the higher than expected pressure that was encountered in the well.
In that same period we shot a new seismic and the results clearly showed that there was more gas potential with large prospective reserves to be found in the MLJ South area.
However, this gas was located much deeper and with even higher pressures than we had seen in the previous MLJ North “problem well”. When we proposed to drill these targets we were met with strong opposition from some experts at headquarters who said that this idea would not work. “At this pressure the reservoir seal will crack and all the gas will have escaped and only water will be left.” But in Bandar, the geosciences team never took no for an answer.
For almost one year, I travelled many times to France in order to convince the experts that we should go for these deep drilling targets. Discussions were tough and ultimately in 2006, an agreement was reached. In cooperation with drilling, solutions were found on how to safely drill the target. And, subsequently in 2007 the well was drilled, and we were proved right: the perseverance of our highly spirited and international team opened the way for the deepest high pressure high temperature well (HPHT) ever drilled in South-East Asia.