La Cortez Energy announced that Emerald Energy, the operator of the Maranta Block where La Cortez will hold a 20% working interest, has reached the intended total depth of 11,578 ft on the Mirto-1 exploration well, with oil and gas shows recorded across the target reservoirs, and is currently evaluating the commercial potential of the well.
Based on the preliminary results from the drilling of Mirto-1, La Cortez has decided to participate with Emerald in the evaluation of Mirto-1 and expects to have evaluation results in about two weeks. Once La Cortez has funded its portion of the completion and testing of Mirto-1, La Cortez will file a request, subject to approval, for a 20% working interest in Maranta with the Agencia Nacional de Hidrocarburos ("ANH"), Colombia's hydrocarbon regulatory agency.
The Maranta block covers an extension of 36,608 hectares in the foreland of the Putumayo Basin in Southwest Colombia. Emerald's contract for this block was signed with the ANH on September 12th, 2006. Emerald completed the first phase exploratory program by reprocessing 40 Km of 2D seismic and shooting 71 Km of new 2D seismic, identifying several promising leads. The Maranta block is adjacent to the recent 20 million barrel proven discovery of the Costayaco field made by Gran Tierra Energy, Inc.
Andres Gutierrez, President and CEO of La Cortez, commented on the announcement, "We are very pleased to announce the preliminary evaluation results of Mirto-1. We hope the coming weeks will ratify our expectations of the existence of a material geological structure. Regardless of the results of Mirto-1, we remain attentive to other opportunities in a variety of basins in Colombia and in Peru that we believe have opportunities to allow La Cortez to build our production base and benefit from upside exploration."
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