The Rowan Companies, Inc.'s Rowan Gorilla V jackup is drilling the well. The initial well location of the Canadian Superior El Paso "Mariner" I-85 well is approximately 290 kilometers (180 miles) southeast of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Canadian Superior's and El Paso's "Mariner" Project is located north of the eastern tip of Sable Island on the Scotian Shelf. The first "Mariner" well to be drilled is located only about 9 kilometers (5 1/2 miles) northwest of Sable Offshore Energy Project's Venture natural gas producing field. This well will be one of the deepest offshore wells drilled in Canada over the next several months and is located on Exploration License EL 2409, acquired by Canadian Superior in November 2001 for a work expenditure bid of Cdn. $15.5 million.
When contacted in Calgary, Greg Noval, President of Canadian Superior, said, "We are very pleased with the record progress in the tow from the Port of Mulgrave, Nova Scotia to the 'Mariner' well site near Sable Island and the safe and efficient start to the well. We look forward to future drilling results from the 'Mariner' I-85 well which is one of the most exciting high-impact natural gas wells currently drilling in North America."
Three large "world-class" prospects, with potential reserves of 2.5 tcf of natural gas, have been identified for drilling on the "Mariner" block (EL 2409) utilizing high-resolution seismic. The block encompasses a total area of 101,800 acres and directly offsets five significant discoveries near Sable Island including the 1.6 tcf Venture natural gas field. The "Mariner" well will be a High Temperature High Pressure (HTHP) well, drilled to a total depth of approximately 18,370 feet (5,600 meters), utilizing the latest in drilling technology and will evaluate one of three large structures identified for drilling on the "Mariner" block, initially targeting 1.2 tcf of natural gas reserves identified on the first structure to be drilled.
Commenting in Halifax, Mike Coolen, Canadian Superior's Director of East Coast Operations said, "The tow-out from Mulgrave to the site went extremely well, taking only 29 hours between the start and when the rig was secure on site. The tow-out team did a first rate job; a very safe tow, in record time. We are very pleased to have commenced drilling on this exciting Prospect and look forward to a successful well."
The "Mariner" I-85 well will take about 90 days to drill at a budgeted cost of U.S. $30 million. Testing and evaluation time will be determined based on the detailed formations encountered in the well. The primary objective of the well is a series of deltaic sediments of the Upper and Middle Mic Mac formations producing in the area; and the secondary objective is a series of deltaic sands of the Lower Mississauga and lowermost Middle Mic Mac formations, also producing in the area.
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