The well encountered 47 feet of gross Beatrice A sand with excellent reservoir properties having an average porosity of 18%. Log analysis indicates that the primary A sand is fully oil-bearing. The well encountered the top Beatrice sand on prognosis 180 feet higher than the 12/21-2 well which had encountered 9 feet of oil above water. As planned, no drill stem test was performed due to environmental sensitivities, however, water-free oil was recovered on wireline tests.
The Basil well was drilled as a potential extension of the Beatrice field which has produced more than 165 million barrels of oil ('MMbbls') since 1981 (source: DTI website). Given the reservoir characteristics as encountered, Ithaca anticipates the Basil well is capable of initial production rates of up to 5,000 barrels of oil per day.
Based on 3-D seismic mapping incorporating the well results, the Company believes potential reserves will be consistent with Gaffney Cline & Associates' evaluation of pre-drill gross high case estimates in the range of 15 MMbbls in place and 5 MMbbls recoverable. Ithaca believes that the accumulation is commercial and has commenced engineering studies for the completion of the well with subsea tieback to the Beatrice Bravo platform which is approximately 5 kilometers away.
Neill Carson, Ithaca's COO, said 'We are delighted with the results of this well, having confirmed our expectations and prognosis. Subject to DTI and other stakeholder approval, we believe this well could be tied in for production in late 2008 and as such, would represent the Company's first production.'
Lawrence Payne, CEO of Ithaca, commented 'Basil is a notable event for the Company as it could potentially make a significant revenue contribution. As our second successive discovery out of two wells drilled, it demonstrates that the Company is performing in a fashion consistent with its strategy of keeping risk low by exploiting existing discoveries and field extensions while preparing high potential exploration targets for the future.'
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