Vast Makes 'Rapid Progress' to Spud First Qara Dagh Well

Qara Dagh Block
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Vast Exploration has provided an operational update with regards to its exploration activities on the Qara Dagh Block in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

As previously announced, in June 2009, the Consortium successfully completed the acquisition of 355 kilometers of 2D seismic program over the surface structure that dominates the Block. The seismic data was subsequently processed, interpreted and integrated with surface and regional geologic models. Three main prospects were identified along the Qara Dagh structure as three subsurface culminations that extend across multiple horizons. The primary prospective reservoirs have been identified as the main carbonate sequences in the Cretaceous as well as underlying Jurassic and Triassic sections.

Based on the seismic data, three well locations were also identified. The central feature, the Qara Dagh dome, being the largest structure was selected for the drilling of the first exploratory well. It is planned that this well will be drilled to a depth of 4000 meters and could encounter up to eight potential reservoirs. The first exploratory well is anticipated to be spud in the first quarter of 2010.

An invitation to tender has been issued to twelve drilling contractors. After technical and commercial evaluation, a company with existing operations in the region was selected to mobilize a 2000 HP rig to the block for drilling of one firm well and three optional wells. Contracts for long lead items have been awarded and well site construction is underway. Additionally, contracts for drilling support services have been tendered, evaluated and finalized with various service companies operating in the region.

The Consortium is in the process of obtaining an independent 51-101 prospective resource estimate for the Qara Dagh Block which is expected to be completed in December 2009.

Mr. Ahmed Said, President and Chief Executive Officer, stated, "We and our partners are making rapid progress towards the spudding of the first exploration well on the Qara Dagh Block. The preparations are at an advanced stage and we expect the well to be spud on time during the first quarter of 2010."

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