Gaffney Cline & Associates ('GCA') evaluated Basil as having net unrisked and net risked best estimate recoverable Prospective Resources of 4.0 million barrels of oil and 2.4 million barrels of oil respectively.
The Basil Prospect is supported by well 12/21-2, which was drilled outside the Talisman Energy-operated Beatrice oil field boundary in 1982 and encountered a 9 foot oil column confirmed by petrophysical analysis and oil shows. GCA have confirmed the results of the 12/21-2 well and subsequent 3-D seismic has revealed that an undrilled crestal location exists that is approximately 200 feet high to the 12/21-2 well.
Utilizing the GSF Galaxy II jackup and the drilling services of ADTI, the well will be drilled vertically into Middle Jurassic Beatrice A and B reservoir sandstones at a target vertical depth of approximately 2,225 meters or 7,300 ft. The well is expected to take approximately 30 days to drill. If hydrocarbons are encountered in commercial quantities in the well, it will be suspended for completion at a later date. Due to environmental constraints a drill stem test will not be performed. Ithaca Energy (UK) Limited ('Ithaca UK') has entered into a 'turn-key' drilling services contract with ADTI, a division of Global Santa Fe Drilling of Houston, Texas for the drilling of this well giving it cost certainty regardless of unforeseen difficulties that may arise.
Particular care has been taken to assess and reduce any potential impact on the sensitive Inner Moray Firth environment. Drilling plans have been subject to public consultation; and comments received from a number of external interested parties have been addressed in the preparations for this work. Management believes that the Basil prospect represents a potential near-term development opportunity. Owned and operated by Talisman Energy, the Beatrice field was a late 1970's discovery which over the years has produced more than 163 MMbbls of oil. The last well drilled into the field was the B-13 well, which is approximately 2.5 km immediately southwest of Ithaca UK's Basil Prospect. Basil production characteristics are anticipated by management to be similar to the B-13 well, which experienced initial production rates of approximately 7,000 bbls/d declining to approximately 1,000 bbls/d level.
Neill Carson, Ithaca Energy's Chief Operating Officer commented: 'We are excited to be drilling the first well in our 2007 UK North Sea drilling program. Having secured a rig for this project in a difficult rig market, we continue to follow through on our drilling plans. We have worked very hard to secure approvals and ensure that this well will be drilled safely and with no harm to the sensitive environment.'
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