Kazakhstan-focused Max Petroleum announced Tuesday a further update on its operations in the country, after reporting progress it made on its NUR-1 pre-salt well at the Emba B prospect on Monday.
Max reported that its ASK-2 well in the Asanketken Field has begun testing in a Jurassic reservoir from depths between 4,272 and 4281 feet (1,302 and 1,305 meters), producing at a stable rate of 616 barrels of oil per day (bopd), with approximately 3 percent water.
The SAGW-3 well, the second producing well in the Sagiz West Field, has begun testing in a Triassic reservoir from depths between 3,980 and 4,010 feet (1,213 and 1,222 meters), producing 44 API gravity crude at a stable rate of 805 bopd, with no water.
Testing of the KZIE-2 well in the East Kyzylzhar I Field has been delayed due to mechanical difficulties and weather related issues in the field. The company is moving a workover rig onto the KZIE-2 location and will announce test results from the well as soon as possible.
Total production during the fiscal year ended 31 March 2012 averaged 2,807 bopd, an increase of 33 percent from average production of 2,118 bopd in the prior year. For the six months ended 31 March 2012, the company's production averaged 3,250 bopd – an increase of 54 percent from average production of 2,105 bopd for the six months ended 31 March 2011 and a 37 percent increase from average production of 2,365 bopd during the six months ended 30 September 2011.
During February and March 2012, severe winter weather conditions and then a rapid thaw of snow made road access difficult at various times to all of the company's producing fields except for Zhana Makat. This resulted in the periodic shut-in of production from each of these fields when it was not possible to truck oil out of the location and storage facilities were filled to capacity.
The weather and road conditions normalized in April 2012, allowing the company to return all six fields to production. Max is currently producing approximately 5,000 bopd from a total of 28 producing wells. Approximately 2,200 bopd of this production is from the Zhana Makat Field, which was recently granted full field development status by the Kazakh regulatory authorities, allowing the company to sell 80 percent of Zhana Makat's production on the export market.
The Borkyldakty Field operates under a trial production project that allows continuous production from the field to be sold on the domestic market. The remaining four fields, Asanketken, East Kyzhylzhar I, Sagiz West, and Uytas are under test production, which allows the company to produce each zone in a given well for 90 days (typically three to five zones per individual well).
The company expects all four fields to move into TPP status over the next 12 months. Given the variability inherent in production during the testing period, the Company estimates annual production from existing discoveries will be approximately 4,500 bopd for the fiscal year ending 31 March 2013 and more than 7,500 bopd for the year ending 31 March 2014.
"The production ramp up that began in the summer of 2011 has continued despite the poor weather this winter in Kazakhstan. We have gone from one to six fields on production in less than a year and expect to increase production from our existing discoveries at a compounded growth rate in excess of 50 percent per year for at least the next two years. This production materially impacts the bottom line for the company, and supports our pre-salt and post-salt exploration programmes," said President and CFO Michael B. Young.
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