Transmeridian Announces Arrival of Fifth Rig at South Alibek



Transmeridian Exploration Inc. on Monday announced the arrival of the fifth drilling rig at its South Alibek field in western Kazakhstan. The rig, which is operated by Sun Drilling Company, is currently rigging up on location and is expected to spud the development well SA-27 in mid-August. The other four drilling rigs are all currently drilling development wells in the field.

Development wells SA-16 and SA-13 commenced drilling on May 29 and June 13, respectively, both with a programmed total depth of 12,500 feet, and are currently at approximately 8,600 feet and 8,900 feet, respectively. Well SA-21, which began drilling on June 27, has a programmed depth of 12,500 feet, and is currently at approximately 6,700 feet. The first KT1 development well, SA-K1, commenced drilling on July 11. The well has a programmed total depth of 9,800 feet and is currently drilling at approximately 5,500 feet. All four of the wells currently being drilled are expected to reach their respective programmed depths in September and to be completed and on production by mid-October.

"The addition of this fifth drilling rig is an important part of our plans to accelerate development of the South Alibek field,'' commented Lorrie T. Olivier, President and Chief Executive Officer. "We drilled two wells in the first half of this year, have four more wells about halfway down, and are preparing to spud yet another well. With these five rigs, we expect to be able to drill at a rate of approximately 14-16 wells annually.''

Transmeridian Exploration Inc. (TMEI) is an independent energy company established to acquire and develop oil reserves in the Caspian Sea region of the former Soviet Union. TMEI primarily targets medium-sized fields with proved or probable reserves and significant upside reserve potential. Its first major project is the South Alibek Field in Kazakhstan and it is currently pursuing additional projects in the Caspian Sea region.

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