As of this morning, Monday, February 9, 2004, the Rowan Gorilla V is drilling ahead of schedule at the Canadian Superior El Paso "Mariner" I-85 well in the 216 mm (8 1/2 inch) hole section of the well at a Total Vertical Depth (TVD) of approximately 4,925 m (16,158 feet). The "Mariner" I-85 well is currently outperforming offset wells drilled previously in the area and has been drilling in the 216 mm (8 1/2 inch) hole section for the past nine days, having successfully run and cemented its 273, 251 mm (10 3/4, 9 7/8 inch) casing string to a depth of 4,527 m (14,852 feet). It is expected to take approximately another 2 1/2 weeks to drill to the targeted total depth of approximately 5,600 meters (18,370 feet) at a total budgeted cost of U.S. $30 million. Testing and evaluation of the well will then take place upon the well reaching its targeted total depth and should take approximately another two weeks thereafter to complete.
Speaking in Halifax, Mike Coolen, Canadian Superior's Director, East Coast Operations said today: "We are very pleased with our current drilling progress in the 216 mm (8 1/2 inch) hole section. We continue to have significant gas shows, and gas levels are substantiating the anticipated increases in pore pressure expected in this well. We are now in the high pressure regime and are seeing drilled seismic reflectors that correlate with our mapping and interpretation from the nearby significant discovery well at 'Arcadia' J-16. The next several hundred meters, about 2,200 feet of this well, will be very informative, as we drill further into prospective horizons, where the primary natural gas targets are anticipated."
The "Mariner" I-85 well is one of the deepest wells that will be drilled offshore this year in North America. The exploration well, which has shown encouraging drilling results to date, is located offshore in 55.5 m (182 feet) of water approximately 290 kilometers (180 miles) southeast of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Three large "world-class" prospects, with estimated potential reserves of 2.5 tcf of natural gas have been identified for drilling on the "Mariner" block (EL 2409) utilizing high-resolution seismic. The block encompasses a total area of 101,800 acres and directly offsets five significant discoveries near Sable Island including the ExxonMobil Venture natural gas field. The "Mariner" well is a High Temperature High Pressure (HTHP) well, drilling to a total depth of approximately 5,600 meters (18,370 feet), utilizing the latest in drilling technology and it is evaluating one of the three large structures mentioned above, initially targeting 1.2 tcf of anticipated natural gas reserves identified on the first structure which has an estimated potential present value - P.V. 10% of Cdn. $1.8 billion.
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