Thursday 19 July 2018

Petroceltic to drill first Italian well in September

Morwenna Coniam

Oil and gas explorer Petroceltic International Plc plans to drill its first Italian well in September.

The company aims to start an appraisal well on its Elsa prospect in the Adriatic, about 10 kilometers off the coast of Italy’s Abruzzo region in September this year, Chief Executive Officer Brian O’Cathain said in a telephone interview yesterday.

The area potentially contains 100 to 200 million barrels of recoverable resources, based on an industry estimate of 500 million barrels of reserves, O’Cathain said.

The well, under about 50 to 60 feet of water, will cost as much as $35m and the company will announce a rig contract shortly, he said.

Petroceltic will probably take an equity partner to help develop the reserve, he said. “We’re sure there will be a lot of interest in that from shareholders and other companies”, he said. Petroceltic currently holds 70pc of the licence.

The explorer also plans to drill two wells in Tunisia around June or July, for which a rig contract is expected to be announced soon, O’Cathain also said in the interview. They will be paid for by PetroAsian Energy Holdings Ltd., which holds a 50pc stake in the exploration area, he said.

Petroceltic yesterday announced testing on the fifth well drilled on its Isarene permit in Algeria proved more successful than expected, with a gas well test rate of 16.7 million standard cubic feet per day.

The expectation was for 4 to 5 million standard cubic feet a day, O’Cathain said in the interview. Petroceltic is drilling in partnership with state oil company Sonatrach.


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