Max Petroleum's Tools Get Stuck in Hunt for Pre-Salt Hydrocarbons
by Jon Mainwaring
Thursday, April 05, 2012
Kazakhstan-focused Max Petroleum announced Thursday that drilling tools at its NUR-1 pre-salt well at the Emba B prospect on Block E have become stuck after the firm began drilling into the salt layer.
Max said the well had reached the top of the Kungarian salt at a depth of 5,718 meters, but upon drilling into the salt a high pressure transition was encountered resulting in the drilling tools becoming stuck. Operations are currently underway to retrieve them, after which the company said it will set intermediate casing and drill ahead as planned.
Max currently expects the well to reach total depth of 7,250 meters in early June 2012. The firm was previously expected to hit target depth this month.
"The results of this first well will be invaluable to furthering our knowledge and understanding of the Namibe basin. Owing to the additional funding raised last month we can now fully explore the deeper targets within the prospect and we look forward to updating the market with the well results in due course," said Chariot CEO Paul Welch.
Pre-salt refers to a group of rocks located in the marine portions off most of the Brazilian coast and off some of the West African coast, as well as parts of Kazakhstan, that have potential for oil generation and accumulation.
These rocks are termed pre-salt because they stretch under an extensive layer of salt, which in some areas reaches thicknesses of up to 6,500 feet. The rocks, deposited before the layer of salt over time, can hold vast accumulations of hydrocarbons.
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