The Saha–1 exploration well is drilling ahead with a newly constructed, deep-drilling rig supplied by Great Wall Drilling Corporation of China. Rig GW-131 carries a 1600 HP draw works and a new, US-supplied Top Drive unit as well as a full range of new, contemporary ancillary equipment. Saha-1 commenced drilling on October 30, 2006.The Operator has set 13 3/8” casing at approximately 1,172 metres and is drilling ahead below that depth.
Based on information from the Operator, CNPC International Ténéré “CNPCIT”, the Company anticipates that the Saha–1 well will reach total depth (approximately 3,500 metres) in early January, 2007, at which time a full suite of logs will be run and a decision will be made whether to test the well. Logging and testing equipment is already mobilised to site.
The well site location for the second well, Fachi West–1, is currently under construction and the drilling pad and sump are expected to be completed in mid-December.
Once the GW-131 Rig is released from the Saha–1 drilling location, it is expected that it will take approximately one month to move the rig and commence drilling the second exploration well, Fachi West–1.
The seismic data acquired in the recent 2006 acquisition campaign has now been processed and is being interpreted by CNPCIT. CNPCIT acquired nearly 1,200 km of new data including infill seismic and new regional lines in the north of the Block.
The Operator has acquired a large, enclosed area on the outskirts of Agadez, within which a camp has been constructed that includes living quarters and office facilities for about 40 full-time employees. Drilling equipment and consumables for all three wells have been mobilised to this site. A separate storage area has also been acquired, adjacent to the exit road from Agadez, to store pipe and casing for the drilling program.
A fleet of 20 desert-equipped specialised trucks has been assembled by the Operator to provide transportation of personnel and equipment, and a unit of CNPC specialised in desert transportation, China Petroleum Technical and Development Corporation (CPTDC), has established a halfway camp at the edge of the Ténéré desert to address issues of maintenance, safety and security.