The well, to be drilling later in 2003, will be one of the deepest wells drilled in Canada this year and it will be located on Exploration License EL 2409 which was acquired by Canadian Superior in November 2001 for a work expenditure bid of Cdn. $15.5 million. The "Mariner" block (EL 2409), on which three large prospects have been identified on recently shot high-resolution seismic, encompasses a total area of 101,800 acres and directly offsets five significant discoveries near Sable Island including the 1.6 tcf Venture natural gas field. The "Mariner" well will be drilled to a total depth of approximately 18,370 feet and will evaluate one of three large structures that have been identified on the "Mariner" block, directly offsetting the 1.6 tcf Venture natural gas field.
Canadian Superior's Director of East Coast Operations, Mike Coolen, said that, "Canadian Superior and El Paso have continued to progress 'Mariner' over the past number of months; our Environmental Assessment approval is in place, our Canada - Nova Scotia Benefits Plan has been approved and other regulatory approvals are progressing as detailed engineering is being finalized. One of our next important steps will be conducting our Wellsite Survey and Offshore Hazard Survey at the specified 'Mariner' well location. Canadian Superior is pleased to announce that this work has been awarded to Fugro Jacques GeoSurveys Inc. of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, and will be completed in July 2003 at a cost of Cdn. $400,000".
The Wellsite Survey includes a review of historical geophysical and geotechnical data for the area, mobilization of a geophysical survey vessel and survey equipment, a detailed bathometric survey of the area, identification of any geophysical hazards that may affect the drilling operation, mapping of seafloor features and any hazards, determination of geological composition and identification of any man made hazards, identification of any possible shallow gas areas, locating communication cable lines, photography of the seabed and environmental sampling and analysis.
Speaking further, Coolen confirmed that El Paso and Canadian Superior have "Issued bid packages, both here and abroad, requesting tenders for the jack-up drilling unit required to drill the well. Permitting, engineering, procurement and other preparatory activities for 'Mariner' are all well underway."
Commenting on the current high level of Company activity, Greg Noval, Canadian Superior's President and CEO, explained, "El Paso has a superior exploration and production group with a wealth of talent and experience that represents a tremendous partner and asset to us. Our joint team worked extremely well together last year on our 'Marquis' drilling project and we look forward to the drilling of our first 'Mariner' well with El Paso. In addition, we are currently planning further wells on our 'Marquis' blocks. Currently, we are at bid for a seismic contractor to conduct a targeted high-resolution 3D Seismic Survey on 'Marquis' to follow-up on last year's drilling. Once fully evaluated, this new data will be instrumental in developing our 'Marquis' Project."
The "Marquis" blocks (EL 2401, 2402) are located approximately12.5 miles northwest of Sable Island and are directly on trend with, and analogous to, the Deep Panuke Abenaki reef natural gas discovery. Deep Panuke is approximately 15.6 miles to the southwest of the "Marquis Project" and has successfully tested several delineation wells, each with productive capacity in excess of 50 million cubic feet per day (mmcf/d). EnCana is currently drilling in close proximity at the Margaree F-70 wellsite.
Work is also progressing on Canadian Superior's deep water acreage, the "Mayflower" block (EL 2406). Coolen commented, "We have received approval from the CNSOPB for our Mayflower Canada-Nova Scotia Benefits Plan. Very shortly we expect to receive approval of our Environmental Assessment of Exploration Drilling on our Mayflower License (EL 2406), as well as approval of our Environmental Assessment of Seismic Programs for 'Mayflower'. We are currently in the process of securing a partner for our 'Mayflower' Project and we plan to proceed with high priority seismic data over 'Mayflower' later this year, to define 'Mayflower' for drilling during 2004."
Canadian Superior's deep water "Mayflower" Project is located approximately 285 miles straight East of Boston, Massachusetts in close proximity to Northeast United States energy markets, which are the largest natural gas markets in the world. The "Mayflower", "Marquis" and "Mariner" Projects represent "world-class" opportunities for Canadian Superior targeting several tcf on natural gas.
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