Analysis of electric logs has confirmed the presence of 50 feet of gas pay. This is somewhat in excess of pre-drill expectations. Evaluation of other intervals of interest is planned.
Intermediate casing is being set at 10,209ft. Plans are to drill below the 7 -5/8" casing shoe a further 200-300ft to test secondary targets, including the Planulina lower lobe. The Planulina upper lobe zone will be completed for production after the well has reached its total depth. The timing of this completion will depend on the results of the upcoming drilling, as any gas pay encountered deeper in the well may be produced first.
However, one way or another, it is expected that the well completion and tie-in to the local gas infrastructure will enable first gas sales to take place by October this year. The well will not be tested prior to completion so potential flow rates will not be established until the well is on production.
Novus obtained a 100% working interest in the well by farming-in to its partners' interests. Novus' partners have the right to come back into the well "after payout" (after Novus recovers its drilling, completion and facility costs from production) which would reduce Novus' working interest to 86.4%. Novus acquired its interest in the Sorrento acreage in 2002 from Darcy Energy, Ltd. The prospect is located onshore Louisiana in the Sorrento Dome Field, approximately 30 miles northwest of New Orleans, Louisiana.
Dr. Bob Williams, CEO of Novus Petroleum, commented, "This is an excellent result in our first US operated well and closely follows our success in the Novus-operated Tibat well, offshore Oman. "This is the result we hoped for when we acquired Darcy Energy in October 2002. The operations team we inherited through that transaction has brought the well in within budget and with more gas pay than in our "most likely" pre-drilling estimates. And we hope that more gas will be discovered when we deepen the hole over the next week or so.
"At this stage it will not be possible to determine the flow rate from the Planulina upper lobe, although an offset well flowed at 5 mmcfd, so a similar flow rate could be anticipated. Novus' working interest is 100% until "payout" (and still 86.4% after payout) so we look forward to strong cash flows from the well after the well is hooked up later in the year. To put the contribution from this well into context, our valuable Stratton field produces around 8 mmcfd net to Novus.
"Of course, the NUL 13 accumulation does not have the volume or longevity of the Stratton field although we are confident of having contacted reserves well within the pre-drilling range of 7-12 bcf. Formal reserve estimates will not be made until a few months of production history is available from the well."
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