BPZ Energy reported that the field investigation related to the accident involving the Peruvian Navy tanker, the Supe, is nearing completion and that the Company continues to prepare for the restart of operations at the CX-11 platform in the Corvina field located in the offshore Block Z-1 in Northwest Peru.
The Company regrets to inform that the accident involving the Navy tanker resulted in one fatality. Four other sailors remain in serious condition. The Peruvian Navy is evaluating the best location and medical resources for treatment for these four sailors and the Company has offered to assist the Peruvian Navy with these logistics.
In addition, the Company contracted the services of Clean Caribbean and Americas ("CCA") to conduct an environmental damage assessment in and around the area surrounding the accident. CCA concluded that the majority of the crude oil contained in the Navy tanker was burned during the fire subsequent to the explosion. This was confirmed after divers inspected the sunken tanker, which is resting 200 feet underwater, and reported that no crude oil or fuel was detected in any of the tanks. The Company's environmental consultants, as well as several independent organizations, conducted additional lab tests on seawater and marine life within the potentially affected area and these lab results indicated no contamination related to the accident.
The Company's current efforts, in coordination with the local regulatory agency, are aimed towards a full restart of operations. The Company expects to resume testing the CX11-18XD well by the end of next week and have the results available after approximately three weeks of testing. Long term production testing of the 21XD and 14D wells is also expected to restart within three weeks. These wells were producing 4,200 barrels of oil per day (bopd) when they were shut in. The Company plans to add the 18XD to the long term testing program once the well is completed, increasing production rates to 6,000 bopd by April 1, 2008 as previously announced.
Manolo Zuniga, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented "Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the families affected by the accident. Several key members of the management team are in the Tumbes region assisting in the investigation. Safety and the environment are also very important to us, and we are pleased that the fast action of the Company's staff and contractors, as well as the efforts of all those involved in the initial phases of the accident, prevented additional injuries and damage to the environment. These actions have allowed the local fishermen to continue working and tourists to enjoy the seaside, as we know these are two of the primary sources of income for many people in the Tumbes area. Frederic Briens, Chief Operating Officer, and his operations team are currently working diligently to resume operations at the CX-11 platform." Mr. Zuniga continued "I am overwhelmed by the courage shown by those individuals whose actions during the early stages of the accident may have saved many lives; I consider them nothing short of heroes. Our condolences go out to the family of the sailor who died as a result of the accident, and once again our prayers and thoughts are with the remaining injured and their families."
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