Independent Resources (IRG) provided an operational update for its Ksar Hadada oil and gas exploration permit covering 5,600 square km onshore Tunisia, where IRG holds an 18.97% interest (0.0% Paying Interest during the 2010 work program):
The block's operator, Petroceltic Ksar Hadada Limited (27.03% Working Interest and 0.0% Paying Interest during 2010 work program) and the Company successfully farmed out the Ksar Hadada block in Tunisia in 2Q 2009 to a subsidiary of PetroAsian Energy Holdings, a company listed in Hong Kong, resulting in the current joint venture. PetroAsian is committed to finance all of the Company's work commitments in the current program including new seismic acquisition and the drilling of two wells. In 3Q 2009, the joint venture established a dedicated team in Tunis to provide operational support for the planned program.
The joint venture acquired over 100km of new 2D seismic in Q4 2009, with processing and interpretation completed in January 2010. Following interpretation of the seismic data, well locations for two Ordovician prospects were selected and approved by the partners in early February 2010. Contracts have now been placed for long lead items and a contract for drilling rig services has been entered into by Petroceltic with Compagnie Tunisienne de Forage, the drilling subsidiary of Entreprise Tunisienne d'Activités Pétrolières, the National Oil Company of Tunisia, for the CTF Rig 06. Drilling is expected to commence in June 2010 and operations are expected to continue for an estimated 12 weeks.
IRG Executive Chairman Grayson Nash said, "The anticipated start of the new drilling program, at no cost to IRG, is excellent news. The technical team has refined the immediate drilling targets to capture the prominent Oryx structure and the NW compartment currently interpreted on the Sidi Toui structure. As we have informed shareholders previously, we continue to focus primarily on our operations in Italy -- particularly the Rivara Underground Gas Storage Project -- but at the same time we regard Ksar Hadada as a promising source of significant shareholder value."
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