Xcite Energy, a heavy oil company focused on the development of discovered resources in the UK North Sea, is pleased to announce that the 9/3b-5 appraisal well on the Bentley field has now spudded. The Company anticipates reaching its target depth in the second week of January, and expects testing to be completed before the end of January.
The Bentley heavy oil discovery is located on Block 9/3b, in which Xcite Energy holds a 100% interest, 160km east of the Shetland Isles and covering an area of approximately 200 km2. Bentley has been drilled by three of the four wells on Block 9/3b, being wells 9/3-1 (Amoco, 1977), 9/3-2A (Conoco, 1983) and 9/3-4 (Conoco, 1986).
RPS Energy Canada Ltd. has assigned best estimate contingent and prospective resources of 109 million barrels of oil ("mmbbls") and P50 oil-in-place volumes of 592 mmbbls for Block 9/3b, as more fully described in the Company's admission document published on 7 November 2007.
"The spudding of the 9/3b-5 appraisal well marks the first of our key milestones as we target first production from Bentley in early 2009, with full field development planned for 2011," said Xcite Energy CEO Richard Smith. "We have an experienced team in place and we look forward to commencing Xcite Energy's activities on one of the largest undeveloped heavy oil fields in the North Sea."
Stephen Kew has reviewed and approved the technical information contained within this press release in his capacity as a competent person, as required under the AIM rules. Stephen Kew is Head of Exploration and Development at Xcite Energy and is an associate of the Institution of Chemical Engineers and a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers.
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