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Maersk Strikes Oil with 1st Pre-Salt Well in Angola

Source: www.gulfoilandgas.com 1/4/2012, Location: Africa

Sociedade Nacional de Combustiveis de Angola Empresa Publica (Sonangol, E.P.), Maersk Oil and other partners declared the Azul-1 deepwater exploration well, located in Block 23 in the Kwanza Basin, a discovery well. The Azul-1 well, the first to penetrate pre-salt objectives in Angolan deepwater, was drilled in water depths of 923 meters and reached a final depth of 5,334 meters. The condition of the well prevented an assessment of flow capacity by a conventional test. This was performed as a mini-Drill Stem Test that enabled the recovery of two good quality oil samples.

The preliminary interpretation of the data indicated a potential flow capacity greater than 3,000 barrels of oil a day. Taking into account these encouraging results, Maersk Oil will further evaluate the results of this discovery and will proceed with exploration work in the block.

Sonangol E.P. is the block Concessionaire. Maersk Oil is operator of Block 23 with a 50% working interest with partners Svenska (30%) and Sonangol P & P (20%).

“We are encouraged by the results of our first pre-salt exploration well in this region, which was also the first ever deep water well targeting pre-salt reservoirs in the Kwanza Basin. The result may be a further step towards our goal of building up a significant business in Angola,” said Lars Nydahl Jorgensen, Head of Exploration at Maersk Oil.

“There is substantial evaluation work ahead of us to determine whether the discovery is enough to invest further to get production going. This will be done by, amongst other things, state of the art reprocessing of seismic data. Fully appraising the discovery will take several years and it is far too early to guess the outcome," Jorgensen said.

Maersk Oil entered Angola in June 2005, when it acquired a 50% interest and operatorship of Block 16. In November 2006, it acquired a 50% interest and operatorship of Blocks 8 and 23 with Svenska Petroleum Exploration (30%) and Sonangol (20%). Maersk Oil made the Chissonga discovery on Block 16 in 2009 and drilled two further appraisal wells in 2010 and 2011. Three exploration wells are planned for 2012 and 2013 for Blocks 8 and 23.

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