Petroceltic International plc announced that approval has been granted for the Isarene permit in Algeria to enter the second exploration period. The second period officially commenced on April 26, 2008 and is in force for two years.
Petroceltic has retained 70% of the original Isarene Permit area (7,520 sq. km) into the second exploration period, in line with the provisions of the Production Sharing Contract. The retained area contains all of the prospects previously identified by Petroceltic on the license.
Currently Petroceltic is acquiring a state of the art 3D seismic program over a large gas/condensate prospect "the Ain Tsilla Ridge" in the north eastern part of the permit, which according to Petroceltic's estimates could contain gas resources of greater than two trillion cubic feet. Two wells have already been drilled on this prospect by previous operators, both of which tested gas and some condensate. Petroceltic's new seismic is a "Wide Azimuth 3D" and has been designed to locate areas of optimum reservoir quality in the target Ordovician sandstones. To date approximately 510 of a planned 890 square kilometer program have been acquired. Initial results from the new seismic are encouraging.
Petroceltic is also reprocessing existing data throughout the block and this together with the new 3D seismic will provide the platform for a planned extensive drilling campaign during the second exploration period. Tender documents have now been issued to drilling contractors. Petroceltic intends to commence drilling on this license in Q1 2009, subject to rig availability.
Petroceltic has a 75% interest in the Isarene permit in association with Sonatrach, the Algerian state Oil and Gas Company, which holds the remaining 25%.Tunisia
Petroceltic as operator of the Ksar Hadada permit has been informed by the Tunisian government that the application to enter the first renewal period has been approved. The first renewal period of the permit begins on 20th April 2008 and lasts for three years. In line with the Production Sharing Contract, Petroceltic and its' co-venturer Independent Resources have retained 80% of the original Ksar Hadada permit (5,600 sq. km) into the first renewal period.
New interpretation of seismic and well data on the permit has yielded positive results with the validation of a number of Ordovician and Silurian prospects in the southern part of the block. Drilling on this licence has been deferred until first half 2009, due to rig availability issues, and to incorporate exploration drilling results on adjacent permits.
Petroceltic has a 57% interest in and is operator of the Ksar Hadada permit. Other partners are Independent Resources (Ksar Hadada) Ltd, (40%) GA.I.A. srl 1.5%, Derwent Resources (Ksar Hadada) Ltd 1.5%.
"The new 3D in Algeria looks very promising, and we are focusing on locating areas of optimum reservoir quality for drilling," said Petroceltic CEO John Craven. "Based on this, we look forward to an exciting program of drilling over the next twelve months."
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