Roc Begins Drilling 7th Well at Saltfleetby Gas Field

Roc Oil has commenced drilling its seventh well at the Saltfleetby Gas Field located onshore, U.K. This well has development targets in the main Westphalian gas pool and the Namurian gas pool below it. The well will also appraise a shallower oil play. If successful, the well will boost field production going into the UK winter.

Saltfleetby 7, an appraisal/development well in the Saltfleetby Gas Field, commenced drilling on 11 July 2003. The surface conductor had been pre-drilled earlier in the month and set at 66.5 meters, from which depth the well has now drilled out.

The well is designed as a horizontal production well for efficient recovery of gas from the Namurian gas reservoir and as an extra drainage point in the overlying main Westphalian gas reservoir, which will be drilled through at a high angle. The six production wells at Saltfleetby are all currently completed for production only in the Westphalian reservoir so the Namurian gas is not presently being recovered efficiently.

The Saltfleetby Gas Field was brought on production by ROC in December 1999. It has to date produced 45 bcf of gas and is currently producing at a rate of 27 mmscf/d. It is the United Kingdom's largest onshore gas field, with Proven and Probable initial reserves of 89 bcf. Saltfleetby 7 is being drilled from an existing production site, allowing it to be brought on stream in time to take advantage of high northern hemisphere winter 2003/04 gas prices.

The well has been designed also to appraise a potential oil reservoir in the Brinsley Abdy sands, some 220 meters above the main gas zone. This oil reservoir was encountered at Saltfleetby 3 but until now, it has proved to be too difficult to define its areal location and quality and this had precluded any earlier appraisal attempt. With the application of modern techniques, ROC believes it may now be possible to seismically define the nature and extent of the reservoir. The well path and ROC's unwillingness to compromise the primary objectives of the well, mean that the oil zone is not expected to be of outstanding quality at the Saltfleetby 7 location, but proof of the seismic interpretation would lead to further targeting of this oil accumulation.

Saltfleetby 7 has a planned Total Depth of 3,172 meters and is expected to take about 60 days to drill, including 5 days for the oil appraisal activities.

Roc Oil is the operator of the Saltfleetby Gas Field and holds at 100% interest.