White Nile also said that it has identified for use a Romanian F200 DH modular drill rig, which will target identified structures on Block Ba where the productive Muglad Basin extends into the concession area. The company believes these structures are suitable for forming hydrocarbon traps analogous to the producing oilfields of the area of Muglad Basin located to the northwest of Block Ba, which include the Unity, Heglig and Thar Jath oilfields, which have estimated oil in place figures of circa 600 million, 550 million, and 1 billion barrels, respectively.
It is intended that the proposed initial program, involving the drilling of three exploration wells, will be carried out in the dry season with the first exploration well targeted for the first quarter of 2007. The immediate target structures, located in the Jonglei sub-basin of the Muglad Basin in the western part of Block Ba, were identified following the interpretation of over 550 km of high-density, 2D seismic data acquired by White Nile over the last year.
White Nile will continue its high-density 2D seismic program in the Pibor Post Basin, part of the productive Melut Basin which extends from Block Ba northwards and includes the Great Palogue oilfield and the Adar-Yale oilfield. These fields have estimated oil in place of circa 2.9 billion barrels and circa 276 million barrels respectively. The program at Pibor remains on target to commence in early 2007.
White Nile Chairman Phil Edmonds said: "Following the seismic interpretation, we believe we have a new understanding of the prospective nature of the Jonglei sub-basin of the Muglad Basin. The funding means that we can drill exploration wells on our identified targets, the first of which is a 50 sq km structure. We have identified a rig, which will enable us to start drilling in the first quarter of 2007 during the dry season, in order to advance our exploration program, aimed at proving the extent of the reserve potential in the Muglad Basin area of Block Ba. We are also expanding our exploration activities in the Melut Basin area which we again believe has the potential to house significant oil bearing structures."
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