Zion Oil & Gas is mobilizing its drilling rig, currently situated at the Elijah #3 well, to resume production testing operations on the Ma'anit-Rehoboth #2 well within approximately two weeks.
Zion drilled the Ma'anit-Rehoboth #2 well to a depth of 17,913 feet (5,460 meters). The well penetrated a number of geologic formations that have been preliminarily deemed to have hydrocarbon potential and a small quantity of crude oil has been recovered and analyzed.
Zion completed drilling the Ma'anit-Rehoboth #2 well in September 2009 and decided, based on the best information then available, to move its drilling rig to begin drilling its Elijah #3 well. Zion's intention was to attempt to test and complete the Ma'anit-Rehoboth #2 well with a small workover rig. In December 2009, as planned, the Company brought in a small workover rig to conduct swabbing operations on the Ma'anit-Rehoboth #2 well.
Due in part to personnel transitions and a shortage of adequate equipment in Israel to conduct satisfactory completion operations on the Ma'anit-Rehoboth #2 well, the Company was not planning to resume testing operations on the Ma'anit-Rehoboth #2 well until sometime in March or April of 2010.
However, given previously reported operational challenges on the Elijah #3 well, Bill Ottaviani, Zion's newly appointed President and Chief Operating Officer, decided that a temporary suspension of operations at the Elijah #3 was a prudent course of action in order to expedite production testing at the Ma'anit-Rehoboth #2 well.
Mr. Ottaviani commented, "Following the drilling of our Ma'anit-Rehoboth #2 well, we have continued to observe evidence of reservoir pressure and the presence of hydrocarbons at the surface. Our geologists have identified several potential hydrocarbon-bearing intervals from the diagnostic data acquired when the Ma'anit-Rehoboth #2 well was drilled. We are currently fine-tuning our plans for production testing these intervals and are looking forward to resuming operations at the Ma'anit-Rehoboth #2 well. As we have stated in the past, we are unsure as to whether we have made a discovery of any hydrocarbon reservoir or, if such a reservoir exists, whether it would be commercially viable."
Zion's Chief Executive Officer, Richard Rinberg, said today that, "We have every expectation to resume activity on the Elijah #3 well in the not-too-distant future, once we conclude on the best course of action for this well. Based on our current geologic assessment, we remain excited about the hydrocarbon potential in this license area and look forward to 'making hole' once again at this location. While we temporarily step back from one well to reconfigure our next steps, we are quickly ramping-up activity at another, as we continue to implement our multi-well strategy."
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