Gulfsands: Syria Drilling on Track

Gulfsands Petroleum plc on Wednesday provided an update on the Khurbet East (KHE-1) exploration well in Syria Block 26, where Gulfsands is operator and owner of 50% interest.

The KHE 1 well commenced drilling in mid-February and is scheduled to take 100 days to drill and evaluate to a planned total depth of approximately 3,700 meters.

The Khurbet East prospect is a fault-bound structural culmination, with closure mapped at multiple potential reservoir levels. The well is located approximately 12 kilometers southwest of the Souedieh Oil Field and 12 kilometers south of the Roumelan Oil Field. Currently, drilling is on schedule at a depth of 2450 meters.

Cretaceous Massive Formation

The top of the Cretaceous Massive Formation was encountered at 1,917 meters and a series of drilling breaks and live oil shows were observed. The Company continued drilling to a depth of 2,203 meters and then made a decision to run intermediate wireline logs as well as wireline pressure testing and fluid recovery.

Independent wireline log analysis of the Massive interval indicates a gross oil column of some 31 meters with approximately 22.5 meters of net oil pay. The wireline pressure measurements also recorded an oil gradient across the interval. An oil sample was obtained and had a measured API gravity of 21 degrees at surface conditions. PVT analyses of the oil samples are currently being undertaken.

Chilou Formation

Prior to drilling the Massive Formation the Company drilled through the Tertiary aged Chilou 'B' Formation, which was encountered below 1319 meters. After encountering oil shows and drilling breaks that indicated potential reservoirs, the Company successfully acquired approximately 8.5 meters of whole core from within the Chilou 'B' Formation. Routine core analyses, including oil extractions and porosity and permeability measurements, are underway. Wireline logs were also acquired over this reservoir interval but due to the large hole size required in this early portion of the wellbore it was not feasible to run pressure tests or fluid recovery.

Independent wireline log analysis of the Chilou intervals indicates some 26.4 meters of net oil pay of which some 19 meters are contiguous in the top of the Chilou 'B' formation. These net oil pay figures, the quality and moveability of the oil will have to be confirmed with later testing.

Following wireline logging, 13 3/8" casing was set over the Chilou intervals to a depth of approximately 1904 meters and the Company continued drilling ahead to the Massive Formation as noted above.

The Company has resumed drilling ahead in this well in order to evaluate the underlying Triassic and Palaeozoic Formations.

Gulfsands' CEO, John Dorrier, said:

"We are encouraged by the results to date in the Massive and Chilou Formations. We look forward to reaching our deeper objectives in the Triassic and the Palaeozoic Formations. However, only after penetrating these further objectives and reaching target depth will we conduct production testing operations. The ultimate commerciality of the hydrocarbons encountered at Khurbet East can only be determined after further work including production testing and appraisal drilling."