FCP's immediate plans are to drill three additional appraisal wells to further delineate the MLE structure. The drilling location is being prepared for the MLE-3 well. The additional appraisal wells will follow.
To date three wells have been drilled on Block 405b: MLE-1, MLE-2, and MZL-1. The MLE-1 and MLE-2 wells, both located on the same geological structure, successfully tested gas and condensate from multiple geological horizons. The test results recently released by FCP on the MLE-2 well indicates the MLE structure contains a world class gas and condensate field. Combined production rates over six zones in this well total 189 million cubic feet of gas per day (mmcf/d) and 12,874 barrels of condensate per day (bc/d), at 2,000 psi flowing tubing head pressure (FTHP).
"We are delighted with how the reserves base is developing on Block 405b", said Richard Anderson, President and CEO of FCP. "These results clearly indicate the logging and testing of MLE-2 has resulted in a significant increase in the estimated reserves attributable to the block. FCP's independent engineers have recognized the size of the pool to be in excess of 5.7 TCF(e) recoverable gas based upon the wells drilled plus the 3D seismic which has delineated the structure to be in excess of 100 km2 in areal extent.
The pool is emerging as a giant gas and condensate field far exceeding any of FCP's original expectations. The field has all the required elements: extensive reserves at high working interest, large production rates and excellent market opportunities for the products. The reserves support commercial exploitation and FCP has initiated project financing discussions with parties which will not have a dilutive effect on FCP's shareholders. FCP is in the enviable position of having a giant field close to existing pipelines with readily available markets".
The European gas market has grown steadily over the past few years. Algeria provides 15% of the continent's natural gas consumption and some 29% of Europe's gas imports. Algeria, along with Russia and Norway, is a founding member of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) which was established to address the global patterns of natural gas demand and in particular the liberalization of the markets in Europe. European consumption of natural gas is projected to increase approximately 46% by 2010 while Algeria is looking to increase its production capacity by 40% by 2005. FCP is well positioned to take advantage of Algeria's expansion plans.
FCP has contracted WesternGeco for the acquisition of 600 km2 of 3D seismic data immediately adjacent to and west of the MLE pool covering 2 large separate mapped structures. FCP expects to have drilling locations on these structures identified by the 4th quarter of 2003. FCP further advises a 240 km 2D seismic program is currently underway on the Yacoub Block 406a to finalize a 2nd drilling location on the Block.
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