Canadian Superior & El Paso to Drill Mariner Prospect
El Paso has formally elected to farm-in and participate in the drilling and development of Canadian Superior's "Mariner" natural gas prospect offshore Nova Scotia.
The "Mariner" prospect encompasses a total of 101,800 acres owned 100% by Canadian Superior, directly offsetting five significant discoveries near Sable Island, including the 1.6 tcf Venture natural gas field located 275 kilometers southeast of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Three large Cretaceous structures have been identified for drilling on the "Mariner" block based on an extensive evaluation of 2,200 kilometers of high-resolution seismic data jointly acquired and processed over the "Mariner" block by Canadian Superior and El Paso over the last 12 months. The "Mariner" well will be one of the deepest wells to be drilled in Canada during 2003. The well will be drilled to a total depth of approximately 19,685 feet (6,000 meters) at an estimated cost of approximately $45 million D&A's and $60 million completed; and it will evaluate one of the major Cretaceous structures that has been identified on the "Mariner" block targeting potential reserves in excess of 1 tcf directly offsetting the Venture natural gas field.
"We are very pleased with El Paso's decision to participate with Canadian Superior in the drilling and development of our 'Mariner' natural gas project. El Paso has an exceptional exploration, production and pipeline group with a wealth of talent and experience that represents a tremendous asset and partner for us on this exciting project. El Paso's continuing commitment with us to develop the Nova Scotian offshore basin should be seen as positive for the industry and for Nova Scotia," said Greg Noval, President and CEO of Canadian Superior.
Speaking in Halifax today, Canadian Superior's Director of East Coast Operations, Mike Coolen, confirmed the farm-in and participation agreement with El Paso and noted, "Permitting, engineering, procurement and other activities are all well underway for 'Mariner'. Our environmental assessment approval is in place, our Canada-Nova Scotia Benefits Plan has been approved, and we look forward to proceeding ahead with the successful drilling of our first 'Mariner' well". Canadian Superior's "Mariner" prospect (EL 2409) is located in shallow water depths of approximately 180 feet and it was originally acquired by Canadian Superior in November of 2001 for a work expenditure bid of $15.5 million.
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