The well encountered a total of 355 feet of Upper Leek sandstone of which 92 feet is considered productive with an average porosity of 14.3%. This is comparable to the previously drilled #15 well which had 127 feet of pay.
The well intersected the top of the Upper Leek formation at 8617 feet True Vertical Depth Subsea which is 291 feet high to the 14/18b-15 well. The entire Upper Leek section is above the previously established oil/water contact giving rise to a total gross oil column of 638 feet. From MDT analysis, the well is in hydraulic communication with the #15 well.
Ithaca's first well on the Athena accumulation (#15) tested oil from the Upper Leek sandstone at up to 1330 bopd. The #16 well was directionally drilled from the same drill centre as the #15 well and the Upper Leek was intersected at a distance of 2500 feet northeast of the bottom hole location of the #15 well.
Currently, production casing is being run to total depth and the well will be perforated for testing purposes. It is anticipated that testing will require approximately 9 days, to be conducted while the rig is on location. Depending upon the successful results of the tests, the well will be suspended for future production.
Ithaca is the operator with the beneficial interest of the participating companies being 70% Ithaca, 20% EWE Akteingesellschaft (EWE) and 10% Zeus Petroleum (previously Wimbledon). Gemini Oil and Gas Fund II provided Ithaca with $6 million for the drilling of the well in return for a gross revenue interest ranging from 3.86% to 1.29% against Ithaca's interest.
Lawrie Payne, CEO of Ithaca commented:
"The results so far from the 14/18b-16 well are very encouraging. They confirm our seismic interpretation and our expectation that the Athena accumulation extends to the east of the original discovery with the potential to extend further east from this latest well. Subject to successful testing and rig availability, we anticipate that a third well will be drilled in the first half of 2008. In the meantime the company is preparing to make application for field development."
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