Offshore Northern Perth Basin (ROC: 37.5%):
The ROC-operated WA-286-P Joint Venture has agreed to contract the Premium Wilcraft jack-up rig to drill two exploration/appraisal wells in the offshore Northern Perth Basin, commencing January 2008. One well will appraise the 2007 Frankland gas discovery; the other well will target the potential of the area around the 2007 Dunsborough oil discovery by drilling the nearby Lilac Prospect.
Onshore Angola (ROC: 60%):
The Simmons 80 rig commenced drilling the Milho-1 exploration well on 24 November 2007. The well, the first in the current program to specifically target a pre-salt structure, is expected to reach Total Depth by the end of January 2008. Immediately following Milho-1, it is expected that, subject to formal Joint Venture approval, three other back-to-back exploration wells, all targeting pre-salt structures, will be drilled which will extend the continuous drilling program into mid-2008. Consistent with ROC’s established practice regarding its Angolan drilling activity, the Company will only issue public statements after the end of each drilling operation. Subject to a review of the results of the laboratory analyses of the heavy oil recovered from the Massambala-1 core samples, the Joint Venture plans to appraise that discovery during 2008. Beibu Gulf, Offshore China (ROC: 40% subject to Government 51% back-in entitlement):
The ROC-operated Block 22/12 Joint Venture has finalized a rig contract for the Premium Murmanskaya jack-up rig to drill four exploration/appraisal wells starting in mid-December. The first two wells will test the Wei 6-12-West and Wei 6-12-East structural-stratigraphic prospects, 2.5 km and 1.7 km, respectively, from the 2006 Wei 6-12-South oil discovery. Offshore Mauritania (ROC: Block C6 - 5%; PSC B – 3.693% and Chinguetti – 3.25%):
A 2008 deep water drilling program is expected to commence offshore Mauritania at the end of January 2008 and to run through to mid-2008. The first well, Khop-1, is an exploration well which will test a structure in Block C6. Subsequent wells include an exploration/ appraisal well on the Banda Gas Field in PSC B and several infill development wells in the Chinguetti Oil Field. Commenting on the drilling activity, ROC’s Chief Executive Officer, John Doran stated that:
"Not for the first time, the look-ahead exploration/appraisal drilling program for ROC includes some pretty interesting wells. As a result, by mid-2008, the Company will have a much better idea of the true potential of some of its currently key exploration/appraisal areas.
Meanwhile, as the drilling rolls forward, ROC’s activity on the production front continues unabated with the Company’s global activities currently providing it with about 13,000 barrels of oil per day – a useful balance to the exploration/appraisal drilling program."
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