Antrim Deepening Tunisia Wildcat Well
Antrim Energy has commenced drilling operations on its previously suspended Chott Fejaj #3A well in Tunisia, North Africa. The well will test Triassic and Palaeozoic reservoirs in a large structure located in the Melrhir Basin, part of the same geological province, which contains 'giant' oil and gas accumulations in southern Tunisia, Algeria and Libya.
The Chott Fejaj structure is one of a series of seismically-defined structures on the Antrim concession, each associated with the regional Gafsa fault system and similar to the large fault-bounded three way dip closures which are productive in the Berkine Basin in neighboring Algeria.
Chott Fejaj #3A was initially drilled in late 1998 to a depth of 3,542 meters and suspended in the Upper Triassic claystone and salt section on the crest of the structure. The well failed to reach the primary target and was cased to a depth of 3,532m for later re-entry and deepening to approximately 4,250 metres. Two tests of oil and gas shows in the relatively shallow Jurassic Upper Nara carbonates were conducted through casing and both tests recovered gas cut formation water.
The Chott Fejaj #3A well location is situated approximately 12 kilometers from pipelines which carry oil and gas from fields in southern Tunisia to ports on the Mediterranean coast.
The estimated net cost to Antrim is $1.2 million and operations are planned for 25 days. Antrim has received $175,000 by way of an unexercised option to farm-in on the well operation. Mr. Stephen Greer (Chairman and CEO) commented that, "Chott Fejaj #3A is one of a number of operations which will expose Antrim shareholders to potentially significant gains in 2003. Although only a few kilometers from oil and gas pipelines, this North African well is a "wildcat", an exploration well drilled in a frontier province. If successful, this venture will have a significant impact on the Company's value with only modest financial exposure."
Horizon, formerly Bligh Oil, is the operator of the Chott Fejaj-3A well with 41.285% interest; Antrim holds a 34.286% interest, Nuevo 42.897%, and Gabes holds the remaining 8.571% interest.