Noble Energy, Inc. has announced flow test results from the Diega oil discovery in Block "I" offshore Equatorial Guinea. As previously reported, the Diega well, which represents the Company's second oil discovery on Block "I", encountered approximately 38 feet of net gas-condensate pay in the primary zone, as well as an additional 30 feet of net gas-condensate pay underlain by 37 feet of net oil pay in a previously untested feature.
Testing procedures, which were only performed on the oil reservoir, yielded a flow rate of 2,700 barrels per day (Bpd) of oil and 2.7 million cubic feet per day of natural gas. Performance modeling indicates the development well completions can be designed to achieve production rates of approximately 10,000 Bpd of oil plus associated natural gas. Fluid samples taken during the test indicated similar crude oil characteristics to Benita.
The Sedco 700 semisubmersible rig has been released from location.
Charles D. Davidson, Noble Energy's Chairman, President and CEO, said, "The test results from the Diega oil zone are very positive, confirming that this new oil resource can be produced at substantial economic rates. Diega complements our Benita oil discovery, which is targeted for sanction in 2009 with first oil in 2012.
"We are excited and encouraged about the potential in this newly discovered lower Miocene reservoir. Our teams are working aggressively to further identify the extensive potential that remains on our large acreage position and to continue our active exploration and development programs in 2009."
The Minister of Mines, Industry and Energy, H.E. Marcelino Owono Edu, stated, "The Government of Equatorial Guinea is delighted that another discovery has been made in the Equatorial Guinea part of the Douala Basin. The Government believes that this new discovery further confirms the significant hydrocarbon potential of the Douala Basin and highlights the positive investment climate which currently exists within the Republic of Equatorial Guinea."
Noble Energy is the Technical Operator of Block "I" with a 40 percent participating interest. Its partners on the block include Atlas Petroleum International Limited (the Administrative Operator with 29 percent participating interest), Glencore Exploration Ltd. (25 percent participating interest) and Osborne Resources Limited, a company within the PA Resources Group (six percent participating interest). GEPetrol (the national oil company of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea) has a five percent carried interest once commerciality has been determined.
The Company also announced that previously discussed maintenance work affecting its Equatorial Guinea production operations has been completed as expected and the facilities are running at full capacity.
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