FCP has completed the drilling, logging and the setting of production casing on the MLE-4 well to a depth of 4,595 meters. Analysis of the logs indicates the MLE-4 well to be a successful appraisal of the southerly extent of the Menzel Ledjmet East (MLE) Field. At least five hydrocarbon-bearing zones have been identified with cumulative net pay over 56 metres. A further 33 metres of potential pay was encountered in a deeper horizon. This horizon has not been tested so far in the MLE Field but will be included in the upcoming testing program for MLE-4.
The MLE-4 well, located 4.9 km south of the MLE-3 well, is the furthest step-out well drilled to date in the MLE Field appraisal program. It is particularly significant in that it proves the continuation of the field to lower structural elevations and over a large area within Block 405b. As with the earlier wells, multiple geological intervals are hydrocarbon saturated and will require an extensive production testing program which will commence shortly.
The drilling results from the MLE Field continue to exceed management's expectations. The three wells tested to date have combined flow rates in excess of 77,000 barrels oil equivalent per day and the MLE-4 well is expected to substantially add to this total. The location for the MLE-5 well has been built and the drilling rig has commenced the move to this location with drilling expected to start within two weeks.
FCP expects to complete the appraisal of the MLE Field with the MLE-5 well and anticipates moving directly to the development stage. Based on the reserves estimated by DeGolyer and MacNaughton in the MLE Field and the results of the MLE-4 well and the anticipated results of the MLE-5 well, FCP and Sonatrach, the Algerian National Oil Company, plan to jointly develop the MLE gas and condensate field.
In addition to the drilling program, FCP has now completed the acquisition and interpretation of 600 square kilometers of 3D seismic immediately adjacent to and west of the MLE Field. Based on the positive results, FCP now intends to accelerate its drilling program on Block 405b by contracting a second drilling rig for early January 2004. At least eight exploration and appraisal locations to the west of the MLE Field have been identified for drilling over the next year.
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