Chinook Energy Inc. ("Chinook") announced that the Sud Remada TT4 exploration well has been cased and suspended awaiting completion in March 2011.
Chinook's indirect wholly owned subsidiary Storm Tunisia is the operator of the TT4 development well and Remada permit with an 86% interest. The well was drilled to the Cambrian at a total depth of 1,745 metres with the primary target being the Ordovician Jeffara and Bir Ben Tartar reservoirs that were originally encountered and proven productive in the TT2 discovery well 5.4 kilometres to the northwest. An extensive logging and wireline testing program undertaken over the Ordovician section confirmed that two zones interpreted as hydrocarbon bearing in the discovery well extend over a significant portion of the 60+ square kilometre structure. Completion operations are expected to commence in early March and involve multiple fracture stimulations of the Bir Ben Tartar, Jeffara and Tannezuft formations in the TT4, TT3 and TT2 wells.
Although commercial production in excess of 100,000 barrels to date has been recovered from the TT2 discovery well, the majority of the net pay and oil in place is in rock with permeabilities below 1 millidarcy and will require a fracture stimulation to produce oil at commercial rates.
Chinook submitted the Plan of Development to the Tunisian authorities for Bir Tartar (TT) on January 20, 2011 and has been actively engaged with Entreprise Tunisienne D'Activités Pétrolières (ETAP) as it progresses towards the granting of a concession by the Direction Générale de l'Energie (DGE), potentially as early as Q2 2011. Subject to receipt of notice of concession approval, Chinook will make preliminary plans to drill the TT5 development well in Q2 2011 and tentatively five additional development wells prior to year-end 2011.
The TT4 operations commenced on January 21, shortly after civil disobedience of increasing intensity led to the resignation of the President of Tunisia in favour of an interim government that intends to lead the country until elections can be held later this year. Chinook was able to complete all operations associated with the drilling and evaluation of the TT4 exploration well during this period and Chinook's production operations have not been interrupted.
Chinook has contracts and logistical plans in place for the multi well completion operations that incorporate the realities of the current security situation. These plans will remain subject to change as the security situation dictates. The security situation has improved to near normal with an end to the overnight curfew, schools and businesses being open, and no travel restrictions, however, there are periodic localized demonstrations that may cause short term disruptions. Chinook's Tunis office and Remada field operations are fully staffed for normal business with a full complement of Canadian and Tunisian personnel. The interim government of Tunisia has stated its intent to honour all lawful contracts in place prior to the change in government and has been largely successful, with the support of the major labour groups, in having people return to work to help restart the economy.
Chinook will press release the commencement of the TT completion program and a summary of Chinook's year end 2010 reserve reconciliation will be released on March 1, 2011.