Xcite Energy Limited announces the results of the 9/3b-5 appraisal well on the "Bentley" field with all principal objectives being met during the well evaluation program.
The well was drilled by the Byford Dolphin semi-sub to a total depth of 4105ft. and, as anticipated, encountered heavy oil bearing Palaeocene Upper Dornoch Formation sands at 3712ft with 87ft gross (86 ft net) hydrocarbon column. Despite difficult weather conditions and, as a result, a shorter period for the drill stem test than the company had hoped for, the well test met all of the company's principal objectives and is a significant step forward in the understanding of the Bentley field and its commercial value.
These objectives included: obtaining a crude oil sample to establish the key fluid parameters including API gravity, viscosity, TAN (total acid number) and the metals content of the oil; flowing crude oil to surface through a drill stem test at rates commensurate with the well conditions, completion approach and pump capacity, and to recover the oil produced; obtaining water sample from the aquifer for chemical analysis and for calibration of wire-line logs; confirming the characteristics of the reservoir; and obtaining productivity data on which to model potential production profiles.
This drill stem test outcome in such a short timescale is viewed by Xcite as a major success and as a seminal step forward in the understanding of the Bentley field and its commercial value.
The initial analysis of the crude oil sample obtained indicates, at reservoir conditions of 40 degrees centigrade, a specific gravity of 0.976, which the company believes is within the acceptable range for commercial development and is consistent with the company's expectation for the Bentley reservoir. The company is greatly encouraged by this outcome.
Based on the success of the 9/3b-5 appraisal well, Xcite now intends to re-process the 3D seismic data over the Block to confirm the results of its recent 3D interpretation, which indicated a material increase in STOIIP compared to the 2D seismic.
In addition, Xcite will move forward to plan further and identify the optimum methodology for the future commercial development of the Bentley field. As part of this work program, the company intends to update the work performed by RPS Energy Canada Ltd to provide a revised Competent Person's Report.
The Bentley heavy oil field is located on Block 9/3b (license P. 1078), in which Xcite Energy holds 100% working interest. Block 9/3b is approximately 160km east of the Shetland Isles with an area in excess of 200 square kilometers. Bentley has been drilled by three of the four previous wells on Block 9/3b, being wells 9/3-1 (Amoco, 1977), 9/3-2A (Conoco, 1983) and 9/3-4 (Conoco, 1986). This is the fifth well on the Block.
"The outstanding success of the 9/3b-5 appraisal well takes us past another of our key milestones for the Xcite Energy business and for the Bentley field, one of the largest undeveloped heavy oil fields in the North Sea," Richard Smith, CEO of Xcite Energy, commented. "We are grateful to all those who have helped achieve this success and we now turn our attention to the next phase of commercialising the Bentley field within the Company’s expected timescale."
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