The Athena accumulation has been evaluated by Sproule International to contain probable reserves of 28 million barrels of oil, 19.2 million net to Ithaca's interest. However, this well will test an area that has not been previously accredited with reserves and as such, if successful, may provide additional reserves.
Ithaca is the operator of the well with a 70% interest and partners include EWE Aktiengesellschaft with 20% and Zeus Petroleum with 10%.
Utilizing the Stena Spey semi-submersible drilling rig and the drilling services of Senergy Ltd., the well will be drilled directionally into Lower Cretaceous Leek sandstones at a target depth of approximately 11,200 feet (9,640 feet true vertical depth). The well is expected to take approximately 30 days to drill and test. If hydrocarbons are encountered in commercial quantities in the well, it will be suspended for future completion and production. The subsurface target of the well is approximately 3,940 feet northeast of the 14/18b-15b well which tested oil from the Upper Leek sandstone.
It is anticipated that a Field Development Plan will be submitted in the fourth quarter of this year with development to commence in the first half of 2008. On success, production is estimated to commence in late 2009 from up to four producing wells.
Lawrie Payne, Ithaca Energy's Chief Executive Officer commented: "The drilling of the 14/18b-16 well is another step in the appraisal and development of the Athena accumulation. Drilling on a structural high, we are optimistic of the well's results. The success of this well would not only increase existing reserves, but provide locations for future expansion of the field."
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