Gulfsands Petroleum plc has successfully completed the drilling, logging and testing of the Khurbet East-3 (KHE-3) well, the second appraisal well on the Khurbet East discovery within Block 26, Syria. The well flowed 26 degree API oil on drill-stem test at an average, stabilised production rate of 3,420 barrels per day (bopd).
Gulfsands, the operator and 50% working interest owner in Block 26 has now completed operations on the KHE-3 well. The objectives of this second appraisal well were to acquire reservoir and structural information on the primary objective Massive Formation southeast of the KHE-1 discovery well, and to undertake a production test of the entire main reservoir section.
The top of the Massive Formation reservoir was encountered within 3 metres of the pre-drill prognosis and at a similar depth to the KHE-1 discovery well and the KHE-2 appraisal well. Third party interpretation of the wireline logs obtained from the KHE-3 well indicates a similar reservoir interval in the Massive Formation as seen in the KHE-1 and KHE-2 wells with reservoir properties similar to or slightly better than those encountered in the KHE-1 and KHE-2 wells. A definitive oil-water contact has still not been identified within the main reservoir interval.
After completion of logging operations, the Company carried out a drill-stem test over the entire Upper Massive reservoir interval. The oil production rate continued to improve during the course of the test reaching a maximum daily production rate of 3,560 bopd near the end of the main flow test period. The average, stabilised production rate was 3,420 bopd with 206,000 cubic feet of natural gas per day through a ¾ inch choke. Preliminary analysis indicates that the oil gravity is 26 degree API, which is consistent with the oil encountered in KHE-1 and KHE-2.
The information obtained from the KHE-3 well has been provided to independent engineering consultants, RPS Group plc, for assessment and inclusion in a report on commercial development of the Khurbet East Field. The Company expects to submit this report to the Syrian Petroleum Company and the Syrian Government for approval in mid January 2008. RPS Group plc has also been requested to provide a report on the reserves and resource estimate for the Khurbet East Field and this is anticipated to be delivered during the second half of January 2008.
The Company has also completed the 3D seismic acquisition programme over the Khurbet East Field. The Company is now proceeding with seismic processing and the interpretation of these data will be used to assist in the selection of additional development well locations in the Khurbet East Field during 2008 and 2009 as well as any "near-field' exploration locations immediately adjacent to the Field.
The Company has also completed approximately 60% of the acquisition of a 240 square kilometre "exploration" 3D seismic programme located to the south of Khurbet East. These data are expected to assist in maturing exploration leads within the Khurbet East "play fairway" into "drill ready" prospects. This seismic programme is expected to be completed by the end of January 2008 with seismic processing and interpretation to follow.
Following receipt of Syrian Government's and the Syrian Petroleum Company's ("SPC") approval of the submitted report on the prospects for commercial development of the Khurbet East Field and the Company's plans for the installation of an early production system, Gulfsands and its joint venture partner intend to proceed as soon as practicable with development of Khurbet East Field. Subject to the early receipt of the Syrian Government's and SPC's approval to the Company's development plans and completion of logistical and commercial arrangements, the partners will be targeting to achieve first oil production in the fourth quarter of 2008.
The joint venture also intends to drill at least one exploration well during 2008 following the completion of interpretation of the 3D seismic data currently being acquired and processed.