The Merrill #31-2 well located in the Malton Black Butte Field, Tehama County, California, was drilled to a depth of 2,450 feet and encountered approximately 40 feet of potential gas pay in the Lower Kione formation. This interval was perforated and tested gas on a 1/4 inch choke at a flow rate of 266 MCFPD. Gas sales should commence in about a week.
This well also encountered approximately 100 gross feet of partially depleted gas sand in the Upper Kione formation, which yielded valuable data regarding the possibility of drilling a future underbalanced horizontal well in this zone. The Upper Kione is a prolific gas producing zone in this area. Aspen has a 31% operated working interest in this well.
Aspen has also commenced the operations on the Cygnus #1 RD2 well located in the Denverton Creek Field, Solano County. Phase one of this operation has been completed and involved the preparation of the existing wellbore in the Cygnus #1RD2 well in preparation for phase two. This next phase, which should commence in about 30 days, will involve setting a whipstock, milling out the 5-1/2 inch casing, and drilling a 1,500 foot horizontal section in the Petersen formation at a depth of approximately 10,800 feet. Aspen has a 20% operated working interest in this well.
Aspen is also participating in two additional wells, which are operated by other companies. One of these wells is located in the Malton Black Butte Field, Tehama County, California, and the other is located in the Grimes Gas Field, Colusa County, California. Production casing was run on the Grimes well based on favorable mud log and electric log responses in several intervals in the Forbes formation. Excellent gas shows have been encountered in the Malton Black Butte well, which is still in the drilling phase. Aspen operates numerous producing gas wells in both of these areas.
Aspen drilled ten successful gas wells out of ten attempts in 2004 for a 100% success rate, and nine gas wells out of ten attempts in 2005. During the last 5 years, Aspen has participated in the drilling of 35 operated wells, 31 of which were completed as gas wells, and 4 dry holes which were plugged and abandoned, a success rate of 89%. Aspen currently operates 54 gas wells and has non-operated interests in 17 additional wells in the Sacramento Valley of northern California, and has an exciting drilling program planned for 2006.
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