Max Petroleum plans to drill a total of 30 shallow wells up to a depth of 1,000 meters by the end of 2007, of which two wells, the ZMA-1X and ZMA-2X, have already been successfully drilled, completed and are now producing. Drilling operations on the third well, the ZMA-4X, are ongoing.
In total, the Company plans to drill five wells in Zhana Makat A this year. The next two shallow wells to be drilled in Zhana Makat A are ZMA-3X and the ZMA-5X, both of which are in the higher part of the structure in relation to the first two wells drilled in the field. After completion of this initial five well drilling program, expected by November, the Company will move the rig to the adjacent Zhana Makat E prospect to drill the ZME-1X exploration well.
The Company has identified nine drillable shallow prospects in Block E with 15 drilling locations, and also identified 39 shallow leads, of which 20 are in Block E and 19 in Block A. The Company's shallow leads are presently being evaluated in order to mature them into drillable prospects.
By the end of 2007, the Company now plans to drill six to nine intermediate wells, each between 1,000 to 3,000 meters in depth,. The Company has so far identified three drillable intermediate prospects in Block E:
1. The Zhana Makat A Triassic area, underlying the Jurassic discovery recently made. The Triassic interval is productive in the adjacent East Makat field operated by KazMunaiGas Exploration & Production;
2. The Zhana Makat D Jurassic area, to the East of the existing East Makat field; and
3. The Akatkol-Satypaldi prospect in the south-central area of Block E.
Max Petroleum has also determined 25 intermediate leads in Blocks A&E which are in the process of interpretation to determine any available drillable prospects. The Company has sourced a drilling rig and plans to accelerate its intermediate program to begin drilling in Block E during the first quarter of 2007.
A total of eleven deep leads have been determined so far in Blocks A&E, including the following two leads:
1. The Soltustik Teniz lead, an interpreted 4-way-closure Permian structure in the South-Eastern part of Block E. The estimated depth to top of reservoir of this lead is 3,650 meters, with a seismic flat spot occurring at 4,300 meters and a base at some 5,600 meters. Areal extent of this lead is estimated at some 58 square kilometers.
2. The Kuzbak Deep lead, a possible Carbonate build-up in the South-Eastern part of Block E. The estimated depth to top of reservoir of this lead is some 4,200 meters, with a base at some 5,450 meters. The areal extent of this lead is estimated at 152 square kilometers.
Further evaluation and interpretation work is required to mature the deep leads identified so far into drillable prospects, and one of these drillable prospects will be chosen for drilling in 2007.
East Alibek & Astrakhansky
In East Alibek, the Company continues to be on schedule to spud the EA-1X well in December 2006. The Company has a rig under contract to drill three deep wells and expects to spud the EA-1X well in the East Alibek license area in December 2006. Max Petroleum has also completed the acquisition of approximately 70% of the 400 kilometers of 2D seismic it plans to acquire on the Astrakhanskiy Block during 2006 and has begun processing the acquired data. We expect to begin drilling a deep well in the Astrakhanskiy Block before the end of 2007.
The ZMA-1X well continues to produce some 225 barrels of oil per day, with the production rate being currently constrained by the size of the pump. The Company is sourcing larger pumps which it anticipates will increase the productive capacity of subsequent wells drilled into the Zhana Makat A structure.
The ZMA-2X well put on production on September 30 2006 is already producing in excess of 100 bopd, while we gradually increase the pump speed to optimize production. We will provide a production update once a stable rate has been achieved.
Jim Jeffs, Executive Chairman, commented:
"Max Petroleum has made excellent progress in a short period of time. Timely planning has allowed the Company to begin its shallow drilling program, make its first discovery and sell its first oil, all within 10 months of commencing operations. Quantity and quality of prospects continue to be encouraging, and we continue to expect to be producing 2,500 barrels of oil per day at the end of 2006."
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