Circle Oil‎: Gulf of Suez well sidetracked

Circle Oil announced an update regarding the Al Amir SE-7X water injector well located to the west of the Al Amir SE-4X well in the Al Amir Development Lease. Al Amir SE-7X, which started drilling on 27 November 2010, has been successfully sidetracked and has now reached target depth (“TD”) at 15,600 ft measured depth (“MD”) in the Lower Rudeis.

The main objectives for this well were to provide water injection support into the Kareem sands and to delineate the Kareem oil-water contact, which is required for technical reasons including resource estimation. The Kareem sands were encountered between 10,664 and 10,852 ft MD and these have been successfully cased off. The Main Shagar Sands, encountered between 10,738 and 10,770 ft MD, were water bearing and of excellent reservoir quality. As a result Al Amir SE-7X should provide a good initial water injection well. The overlying sand stringers from 10,664 to 10,718 ft MD have indicated oil saturations on logs. This places the deepest oil in Al Amir SE for the Kareem at approximately 10,200 ft Sub Surface, which positively corresponds with the latest estimates for the oil-water contact calculated using formation pressure data. Additional work is to be undertaken to refine this elevation. The well has been plugged back to 11,180 ft MD and is being completed as a water injector in the Kareem sands to support the updip oil producers. A further development well and water injection wells form the immediate drilling program for the Al Amir SE field.

The secondary objective of the well was to evaluate the Lower Rudeis thin sand stringers with indicated hydrocarbon saturations between 15,553 and 15,567 ft MD, which were previously encountered in the Al Amir SE-6X well. Log analysis by the operator identified 6 ft of pay with an average 10% porosity and a hydrocarbon saturation of 68%. The decision was taken not to test this interval due to mechanical problems, but to conduct further drilling to properly evaluate the productivity of the Lower Rudeis sands.

In the drilling of the up-hole section of Al Amir SE-7X, sand stringers with potential hydrocarbon saturations containing 6 ft of potential pay were encountered in the South Gharib (5,634 to 5,645 ft MD) and a further 4 ft of potential pay in the Belayim (8,400 to 8,404 ft MD). These zones will be the subject of further evaluation in future drilling which will be undertaken to properly evaluate these positive occurrences for additional hydrocarbons in the NW Gemsa block.

During 2010 four successful wells were drilled and completed:

  • Geyad-2X ST completed as a producer in February;
  • Al Amir SE-5X completed as a producer in March;
  • Al Amir SE-6X completed as a producer in July; and
  • Al Ola-1X completed as a producer in December.

Further intensive exploration, appraisal and development drilling is planned over the next eighteen months. This will include drilling water injection wells to support the oil production in both the Al Amir SE and Geyad fields as required.

In addition, construction is now underway to construct facilities together with an 8-inch gas pipeline to the nearby facilities for gas export and the sale of gas and associated liquids. These facilities are expected to be completed by year end, with an associated increase in gas and liquids production.

The current production rate from the NW Gemsa fields of Geyad and Al Amir SE is approximately 7,500 bopd gross as fluid off-take from the fields is controlled in line with best reservoir management practice as the water flood is initiated, becomes operational and is proven to be effective in maximizing recovery rates. By mid 2012 the production rate is expected to rise to approximately 12,000 bopd gross as water flood operations become effective.

Gross production from start up in February 2009 through to the end of February 2011 was 4.6 MMBO. Work is currently underway on an independent third party report on ultimate recoverable resources for NW Gemsa. The results are expected during the second quarter of 2011 and will be incorporated within the Annual Report for 2010. The NW Gemsa permit, in which Circle Oil holds a 40% interest, has been a very successful venture for the Company.

The NW Gemsa concession, containing the Al-Amir and Geyad Development Leases, covering an area of over 260 square kilometers, lies about 300 kilometers southeast of Cairo in a partially unexplored area of the Gulf of Suez Basin. The concession agreement includes the right of conversion to a production license of 20 years, plus extensions, in the event of commercial discoveries. The North West Gemsa Concession partners include: Vegas Oil and Gas (50% interest and operator); Circle Oil Plc (40% interest); and Sea Dragon Energy (10% interest).


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