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Noble Energy Spuds Carla South Prospect Offshore West Africa

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Noble Energy Inc. began drilling the I-7 exploratory well on the Carla South prospect in Block I using the Atwood Hunter (DW semisub) last week, PA Resources reported.

The Carla South prospect is on trend with the Carla North discovery recently appraised in Block O to the north of Block I, which houses the Aseng field, in Equatorial Guinea, PA Resources stated in a press release. The operator, Noble Energy, is targeting Tertiary sandstones of similar age to those in the discovery to the north. Drilling is expected to reach total depth in around 25 days with plans for a subsequent sidetrack of similar duration.

"We are very glad to have resumed exploration drilling in Block I, following an extended period focused on development of the Aseng and Alen Fields," said PA Resources' CEO Bo Askvik in a press release. "In addition it is likely that an appraisal well will be drilled in Block I later this year on the existing Diega discovery and this year's drilling program will be valuable in progressing the next field development or developments in Block I."

The Carla discovery that was made in November 2011 encountered 26 feet of oil pay in good quality upper Oligocene sands below the Alen field. It was drilled in 1,900 feet of water and reached a total depth of 11,500 feet. Noble Energy estimates between 35-100 million barrels of oil equivalent, of which 80 percent are liquids, at the Carla prospect.

Noble plans to develop the field and connect it to the producing Aseng field in Block I, or the Alen field in Block O, that is due to come onstream in late 2013.

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