March Submits Pica Norte Drilling Program to Conama

Canadian oil company March Resources (TSX-V: MCF) has submitted an environmental impact assessment to Chile's environmental authority Conama for a US$20mn oil and gas exploration program in Region II.

The company will drill two exploratory wells on its Pica Norte block in the Tamarugal basin and possibly a third well depending on results, according to Conama's environmental impact evaluation system website.

The wells will be drilled to a depth of approximately 4,200m and each will require four months work.

Tamarugal is similar to Argentina's hydrocarbons-rich Neuquen basin. The two objective sandstone horizons of the Pica Norte block are at depths of some 4,300ft (1,300m) and 7,000ft, BNamericas reported previously.

Although Chile's mines and energy minister awarded March the exploration and development rights for the Pica Norte and Pica Sur blocks in June 2006, the company is still negotiating 35-year special operating contracts for the blocks, according to March's website.

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