The MLE-4 well, located 4.9 km south of the MLE-3 well, is the furthest step-out well drilled to date in the MLE Field appraisal program and encountered at least five hydrocarbon-bearing zones with cumulative net pay over 56 meters. MLE-4 is significant in that it proves the continuation of the field to lower structural elevations and over a large area within Block 405b. As with the earlier wells, multiple geological intervals are hydrocarbon saturated.
Production tests conducted to date on MLE-4 flowed gas from the Carboniferous F1A testing 5,090 barrels of oil equivalent per day, comprised of 23 million cubic feet of gas per day and 1,223 barrels of condensate per day at 2000 psi wellhead flowing pressure. The MLE-4 wellbore was damaged during drilling and completion operations which restricted the other gas- saturated zones from flowing freely.
"We are encouraged by the results obtained and satisfied the MLE-4 well has confirmed the southward extension of the multi-zone MLE Field," stated Richard Anderson, President and CEO. "Field appraisal work will continue shortly with the production testing of the MLE-5 gas well. FCP expects to have completed the appraisal stage of the MLE Field after the MLE-5 production test and anticipates moving directly to the development stage."
Exploration work is proceeding to the west of the MLE Field. FCP has received formal approval from Sonatrach for the 2004 exploration drilling program. The first exploration well, LEC-1, is anticipated to start drilling later this month. It will be followed by further exploratory wells located on separate structural features.
FCP also advises work has commenced on the acquisition of 550 sq km of 3D seismic data. This seismic program will complete FCP's 3D coverage on Block 405b and is designed to evaluate a series of geological structures which were mapped using existing 2D data.
The ZCH-1 exploratory well located on Yacoub Block 406a is anticipated to commence drilling late March. The ZCH-1 well is the second exploratory well drilled by FCP on the Yacoub Block. The well will be drilled to a depth of 3,750 meters and is expected to take 40 days to reach total depth.
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