Petroceltic, Sonatrach Test Positive at Algeria's Isarene Block

Algeria, Africa
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Petroceltic, in association with its partner Sonatrach, the Algerian National Oil & Gas Company, announced that well testing of the Objective Devonian F2 formation at well INE-2 has been successful, with a gas well test rate of 4 million standard cubic feet per day ("MMscf/d") (4,720 cubic metres/hour) with a flowing wellhead pressure of 180 PSI on a 1' choke setting. This flow rate was achieved without the benefit of fracture stimulation which proved successful in testing on the AT-1 well.

The ISAS is a separate structure in the same area of the Ilizi basin as the Ain Tsila ridge discovery announced recently. ISAS has been identified as a significant gas bearing structure in its own right for some time. INE-2 is the third well on the ISAS structure to flow gas at 4mmscfd or more. Well INE-1 flowed at 4.4mmscfd while another earlier well, TMZ-1 tested at 4.1mmscfd. A further well on the structure, GTT-1, tested oil at rates of 490 barrels per day. A joint technical study undertaken with the operator of the adjacent block 226 in 2007 concluded that at the F2 level the structure extended into both blocks, across a distance of 20km north to south.

Well INE-2 was the commencement well of the current drilling campaign on the Isarene permit (Blocks 228 & 229a), in the Illizi basin. The well was drilled to a total depth of 1020m in June 2009, targeting the Devonian F2 sands in the ISAS structure. Testing of this well has now been completed. Following perforation of a 5 meter interval in the objective Devonian formation, the following flow rates and Flowing Well Head Pressures ("FWHP") were recorded.

Testing and sampling operations at the INE-2 well have now concluded and the well testing crew is moving to flow test well AT-2. Well INE-2 has been completed for possible future use as a production well.

The INE-2 well is the second successful well in the current drilling program, and it demonstrates the potential of the shallow, Devonian objective in this part of the Isarene block. The well was drilled by Petroceltic (75% interest, Operator) in association with the Algerian oil & gas company Sonatrach (25% Interest). In accordance with the provisions of the Isarene Production Sharing Contract, a declaration of discovery for this accumulation has been submitted to Sonatrach.

Independent of the well testing programme, the drilling rig is drilling ahead at the AT-3 location, which is approximately 9 km south of the AT-2 location, to continue the appraisal of the Ain Tsila Ridge structure. The testing of well AT-2 is about to commence in parallel with the drilling of AT-3.

Brian O'Cathain, Chief Executive of Petroceltic, commented, "This is the first well test which we have had on the secondary Devonian Objective on the Isarene block since our successful two well drilling campaign in 2006. We are pleased that this well has demonstrated a commercial flow rate at this location. This additional discovery on the block is helpful in adding to the hydrocarbon inventory proved as potentially commercial on the license. It forms a separate shallower accumulation to the previously announced AT-1 Ordovician discovery. We expect to delineate both Devonian discoveries (INE-2 and HTT-2) and the deeper Ordovician discovery at AT-1 in the next phase of the Production Sharing Contract."


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