This should not affect the overall timing of the UBCTD program as it is now planned to drill three wells consecutively commencing at the end of January with no break in activities. Previously the first well was to be drilled with an end of year break followed thereafter by two wells every four weeks with a break thereafter. Three consecutive wells would allow the program to get back on schedule.
CanArgo Energy Corporation and Weatherford International have successfully mobilized over 500 tons of UBCTD equipment to the Ninotsminda 22 well site in the Republic of Georgia. The rig up on the first well was completed despite the coldest weather experienced in Georgia since 1994 with temperatures at the well site falling to some -20ºC.
The cement shoe in the 4 ½" liner was successfully drilled together with a short distance of new formation. At this point in time an error was detected in the down-hole telemetry equipment and despite intensive efforts it has proven impossible to fix without taking these items to the UK and Norway for repair. As this equipment is critical for steering the well trajectory and maintaining underbalanced conditions, it was mutually agreed to temporarily suspend drilling operations in order to fix the problem.
It is anticipated that drilling operations shall recommence about January 26, 2005. It is planned to then drill Ninotsminda horizontal UBCTD wells 22, 100 and 49 without a break to bring the program back on schedule.
On the appraisal of the Manavi oil discovery, drilling operations are progressing satisfactorily on the on the M11Z sidetrack well which is currently at a depth of approximately 3,393 meters (11,132 feet).
Dr David Robson, CanArgo's CEO commented, "Whilst this is frustrating for our team in Georgia it is only a short-term problem and we are working with Weatherford to bring the program back on track by early next year. This should not affect our program as a whole, however the initial results will now be realised in early February 2005 instead of January 2005".
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