The 3D seismic program, was operated by PetroCanada on behalf of itself, Nexen and Ithaca, covered a total of 1,755.1 km2, of which Ithaca's share covered 300 km2 for an expenditure of approximately US $3.0 million. Ithaca's program objective seeks to enhance the Company's understanding of its Triton and Poseidon leads.
Triton and Poseidon are the two largest 2D seismic mapped leads in Ithaca's exploration portfolio and are of a highly attractive stratigraphic play type, with large upside potential within the prospective Upper Jurassic Buzzard and Lower Cretaceous fairways. Independent consulting firm Gaffney Cline and Associates ("GCA"), in its report for the Company's recent public offering, has ascribed gross unrisked recoverable Prospective Resources of between 50 to 500 million barrels of oil with a best estimate of 150 million barrels to Triton and gross unrisked recoverable Prospective Resources of between 50 to 400 million barrels of oil with a best estimate of 100 million barrels to Poseidon. Ithaca holds a 90% interest in Blocks 13/16b, 13/17 and 13/18 covering the leads.
The large ranges within GCA's report signify the high level of uncertainty associated with these leads. GCA assessed each lead with a 10% geologic chance of success based upon the existing 2D data. Ithaca believes the newly shot 3D seismic survey will reduce this uncertainty and mitigate the risk associated with these leads.
Seismic data processing is expected to be completed by the end the 4th quarter of 2006 with interpretation, mapping and well locations determined by the end of the 1st quarter of 2007. Subject to the results of the data interpretation and rig availability Ithaca plans to drill a well to a depth of 2,150 m, or 30 m into the Jurassic in 2007.
Nick Muir, Ithaca's Vice-President of Exploration, said:
"These exploration prospects, which are in addition to our range of near term development prospects, have very significant potential. The 3D seismic data is expected to greatly advance our understanding of the leads and result in suitable drilling locations." Nick Muir also added "We are delighted to have participated in what we believe was the largest 3D seismic group shoot in the area for several years."
The Company's assets total 514,473 net acres in 28 blocks and part blocks under 16 licenses and include three near term development projects, Athena, Barbara and Beatrice Alpha North. A report by independent reservoir evaluation firm Gaffney, Cline & Associates ("GCA") assigns to the Athena and Barbara projects aggregate net proven and probable undeveloped reserves of 22 MMbbls of crude oil, 11.6 Bcf of natural gas and 0.4 MMbbls of natural gas liquids ("NGLs").
Additionally, based on GCA's best estimate of Contingent and Prospective Resources, management's best estimates are net risked recoverable Contingent Resources of 4.8 MMbbls of crude oil and 30 Bcf of natural gas, and net risked recoverable Prospective Resources of 30 MMbbls of crude oil and 88Bcf of natural gas.
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