Quetzal Energy Reports Delay in Drilling at Atzam #3 in Guatemala
Quetzal Energy announced that drilling progress on the Atzam #3 in Guatemala has been slower than expected due to lost circulation at or near the surface of the well bore, as well as mechanical issues with the drilling rig. As of the date of this release, the Company is correcting the circulation problem by skidding the rig back and adding additional concrete footings for the rig plus squeezing cement downhole to stop and or minimize mud losses while drilling. Drilling is expected to resume in five to seven days. At present the drilling program is currently running behind schedule by 18 days.
It should be noted that In 1987, Basic Resources (Bahamas Ltd) was forced to abandon the Atzam #1 well (approximately 500 meters north east of the Quetzal Energy Ltd. Atzam #3) due to similar drilling issues, causing Basic to skid their rig and drill the Atzam #1A well (currently utilized as a water disposal well for Quetzal Energy Ltd's operations).
Once drilling resumes, it is expected to take up to four days to reach the required depth needed to set intermediate casing (approximately 1100 to 1400 feet). Once intermediate casing is set in the upper section of the Coban "C" limestone, leaving the worst of the lost circulation zones up hole, the Company expects the penetration rate to increase. Projected total depth for the Atzam #3 well is approximately 4200 feet.
Quetzal will be reviewing its drilling procedures and options in anticipation of avoiding this and other drilling issues on future wells.