According to CNPCIT the rig is expected to be on location by late September, ready to commence drilling by the first week of October 2006.
The first well is to be named Saha-1, and is expected to be drilled in the southwest corner of the Tenere Trough, to an approximate depth of 3,600 meters. The well is to be sited on the footwall of a large rotated fault block - the main producing trap in the Sudan and Chad rift basins - testing the Sokor, Madama, and Yogou formation sandstones in a favorable reservoir facies.
The second well, to be named Fachi West-1, is scheduled to be drilled immediately following completion of the Saha-1 well, in a location close to the graben centre, to the north of Saha-1 and southwest of the 1970s-vintage Fachi-1 well. Fachi West-1, which is expected to be drilled to a depth of approximately 4,000 meters, will also test the Sokor, Madama, and Yogou formation sandstones.
The location of the third well in this first drilling series will be chosen after completion of the previously announced third seismic acquisition campaign which is currently underway.
CNPCIT has advised that this new program, which is targeted to acquire an additional 1,198 km of new 2D seismic (in addition to the 2,568 km already acquired by CNPC since the beginning of operations in January, 2005), is underway in the northern portion of the Tenere graben, where seismic control is less dense and additional infill lines have been planned to provide greater precision to previously identified prospects.
CNPCIT reports that the Operations Base under construction in Agadez is nearing completion and crews have begun building the drilling platform at Saha-1. The drilling rig (under contract from CNPC subsidiary Great Wall Drilling Corporation) is expected to arrive in Cotonou in mid-to late July and will be transported immediately to the Agadez Operations Base by road. From there, the specialized desert trucks will deliver the rig, along with the associated cementing, logging and testing services, as well as all required consumables (all from China), approximately 400 kilometers to the well location.
According to CNPCIT, tight supply in the market for appropriate desert transportation equipment - resulting in the requirement to purchase newly manufactured desert vehicles - has been the principal factor that has delayed commencement of the drilling program.
Mr. Clifford James, President and CEO of TG World, commented: "The Tenere Project is now concretely underway. Now that the bottleneck in securing desert transportation equipment has been overcome, we believe that CNPCIT will waste no time in getting the rig to the first drilling location and commencing drilling operations. CNPCIT is an impressive Operator, seriously responding to the challenges, and managing the risks."
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