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Petroceltic Plans Nine Wells over 18 Months

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Junior oil and gas firm Petroceltic International outlined plans to drill a minimum of nine wells during the next 18 months when it reported its annual results Monday.

Petroceltic said that its drilling campaign would take place across Bulgaria, Egypt, Kurdistan and Romania.

In Bulgaria, where Petroceltic operates three production licenses including the Galata gas field that it brought into production in 2004, the firm said that its latest exploration well – Kamchia – was spud this month and, if successful, could be rapidly developed through existing infrastructure.

The firm said it was continuing to invest in Egypt, in spite of the high degree of political uncertainty in the country, and that the recent award to it of the onshore South Idku and offshore North Thekah blocks was evidence of its commitment to the country.

In the Kurdistan region of Iraq, a joint venture in which Petroceltic is a part plans to begin drilling two high-impact prospects during the second half of 2013. The firm said that a number of prospects within the joint venture's Shakrok and Dinarta block are assessed to contain prospective resources in excess of 500 million barrels.

During 2012, Petroceltic acquired highly-quality 3D seismic data over the Muridava and Est Cobalcescu blocks in Romania as part of the country's 10th Licensing Round. The firm said it has identified the presence of a variety of potentially material exploration leads and prospects on these blocks, and it plans to drill two of these during 2013 as part of a wider Black Sea campaign. A further four wells are scheduled for 2014.

Meanwhile, Petroceltic has resumed planning for an appraisal well in Italy on the Elsa discovery offshore Abruzzo and was recently awarded the Central Adriatic permit B.R272.EL. Onshore, the firm has made steady progress on the permitting for its Carpignano Sesia well in the western Po Valley.

Petroceltic also said that it has booked reserves for its Ain Tsila assets of 304 million barrels of oil equivalent after a Declaration of Commerciality was made in December 2012.

The firm exceed its production target of 28,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) during 2012, with the full-year pro-forma rate coming in at 28,400 boepd.

Petroceltic Chairman Robert Adair commented in a statement:

"Petroceltic has fundamentally transformed its business over the past year. The merger with Melrose in October 2012 has created a significant, regionally focussed, full cycle, independent oil and gas company. This combination has produced a company with stable finances and excellent growth prospects. Petroceltic has the technical expertise and ambition to develop further over the next 12 months while the recent announcement of our new $500 million financing facility represents a strong technical and financial endorsement of the quality of our producing assets and longer term growth ambitions of the group.

"All key objectives set out at the end of last year have been met or exceeded. The Declaration of Commerciality, announced in December 2012, is a significant milestone in the development of our Algerian asset, this has allowed us to book reserves for the Ain Tsila asset for the first time. Looking forward, we have an exciting programme of exploration and appraisal planned over the coming 18 months with a minimum of nine wells planned across our portfolio in North Africa, the Black Sea and the Kurdistan Region of Iraq."



A former engineer, Jon is an award-winning editor who has covered the technology, engineering and energy sectors since the mid-1990s. Email Jon at jmainwaring@rigzone.com

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