Max Comes up Dry with Sagiz West and Uytas Appraisal Wells

Kazakhstan-focused junior explorer Max Petroleum reported Wednesday that its latest appraisal wells on its onshore Sagiz West and Uytas fields have proved unsuccessful.

Max said it completed drilling the SAGW-14 appraisal well to a vertical depth of 4,670 feet without encountering sufficient hydrocarbons to be commercial. The results of the well will be analyzed and integrated into the firm's geotechnical evaluation of the field.

In the Uytas field, the UTS-9 appraisal well reached a total depth of 1,805 feet but also proved uncommercial.

Both wells will now be plugged and abandoned.

Max said the Zhanros ZJ-30 rig will now move to drill the SAGW-9 well, one of seven wells remaining in the company's current appraisal program in the Sagiz field. On the Uytas field, the Zhanros mobile truck-mounted rig is now moving to the UTS-18 appraisal well.

The disappointing results announced Wednesday follow a period of success for Max. Several wells on its Sagiz West, Uytas and Eskene North fields have discovered commercial oil in recent weeks.

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


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