The Project Operator, CNPC International Tenere ("CNPCIT"), a unit of the China National Petroleum Corporation, has advised TG World that transportation of the rig and drilling supplies to the drilling site was hampered by the extended period of out-of-the-ordinary rains and flooding experienced in the Agadez-Tenere region of the Sahara Desert in August and September, as well as certain other logistical difficulties. As reported extensively in the international media, the extraordinary rains dislocated thousands of desert residents from their homes. For a period of several weeks, the inclement weather made sections of the desert terrain extremely difficult for mobilizing drilling equipment and supplies. Weather of this nature rarely occurs in the desert areas in Niger – usually decades apart – but has a devastating effect when it does happen.
TG World has been advised that despite the difficulties, the drilling rig and all other drilling services and related equipment (shipped from China), have reached the Saha-1 drilling location. Construction of the drilling lease has been completed and the operations bases at Agadez and Saha-1 are fully functional.
CNPCIT has advised TG World that once equipment testing has been completed, rig-up will commence and CNPCIT hopes to spud the Saha-1 well by the end of October 2006.
"In the grand scheme of things, this represents a marginal delay in a significant long-term project," commented Cliff James, TG World's CEO. "Rain is not something you normally plan for in that part of the world, but in our opinion CNPCIT continues to be working aggressively to drill this exciting prospect," he added.
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