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Market: AIM
Sector: Oil & Gas Exploration & Production
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Petroceltic International

Petroceltic International plc is a publicly quoted oil and gas exploration and production company which currently employs 160 full time industry professionals across multiple disciplines and geographies. Petroceltic is an equal opportunities employer. The Company is headquartered in Dublin with offices in Edinburgh, London, Algiers, Varna, Cairo and Rome. Petroceltic’s shares are listed on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) of the London Stock Exchange and on the Enterprise Securities Market (ESM) of the Irish Stock Exchange.

Petroceltic's INW-2 becomes fourth well to demonstrate commercial flow rates on Isarene permit, Alge

2nd Feb 2010, 1:03 pm

Petroceltic International (AIM: PCI) has achieved commercial flow rates on the Devonian F2 formation at well INW-2 on the Isarene permit in Algeria. The company successfully tested INW-2, with a gas well test rate of 16.7 million standard cubic feet per day (MMscf/d), without fracture stimulation. The final well of the Isarene drilling campaign becomes Petroceltic’s fourth well on the permit demonstrating commercial flow rates.

"This is the highest gas flow rate recorded from a single Devonian zone in the Illizi basin to date. We are pleased that this well has demonstrated a commercial flow rate on the structure”, said Petroceltic chief executive, Brian O'Cathain, “We are now preparing to submit a request to our partner, Sonatrach for an extension of the PSC into a delineation phase. We expect to be returning to the field for further appraisal drilling in Isarene later in 2010".

The well is being developed through a joint venture between Petroceltic and the Algerian oil & gas company Sonatrach. With a 75% interest Petroceltic is the larger stakeholder and operator of the Isarene permit, Sonatrach owns the remaining 25%. Drilling was completed in January, to a total depth of 2124m, targeting the Devonian F2 sands. Testing and sampling operations at the INW-2 well have now finished and the well has been completed for possible future use as a production well.

INW-2 is the fifth and final well being drilled on the Isarene permit; the Issaouane North West structure is the fourth separate structure to attain potentially commercial flow rates by Petroceltic on the permit. Previously, Petroceltic successfully tested gas on this licence from the Ain Tsila field, the Hassi Tab Tab field and the ISAS field.

Petroceltic's Isarene permit area is located in south eastern Algeria, and covers some 7,520 square kilometres, which is equivalent to approximately thirty North Sea blocks. The permit area is bordered by a number of fields with proven oil and gas production. The neighbouring In Amenas project, which is jointly operated by BP (LSE: BP), Statoil (NYSE: STO) and Sonatrach, is Algeria’s largest wet gas project. Repsol’s (NYSE: REP) Tiffernine oil field is less than 15km from the Isarene permit’s northern boundary.

The Isarene permit has been a major focus of activity for Petroceltic in 2009, the drilling campaign began in May 2009. Drilling was focused on the appraisal of gas and oil discoveries, which had already been made by both Petroceltic and previous operators. The campaign has focused on the Ain Tsila discovery and the Issaouane North West (INW) structure.

In December, Petroceltic tested the preceding well on the permit, the AT-2 well on the Ain Tsila gas discovery, reporting flow rates of 4.9 mmscf/d following fracture stimulation. The gas pressures in the well indicated that it was in the same pressure regime as the gas in other Ain Tsila well AT-1, located 12km away. Subsequently, Petroceltic Ain Tsila Ridge discovery has been rated as the tenth largest in the world and the largest in Africa so far by HIS Petroconsultants.

Previously the INE-2 well marked the commencement of the current drilling campaign on the Isarene permit and in November the INE-2 well demonstrated a commercial flow rate, flowing at 4 mmscfd.  During an earlier campaign on Isarene the INE-1 well flowed at 4.4 mmscfd and TMZ-1 flowed at 4.1 mmscfd. Also on the structure the GTT-1 well, tested oil at rates of 490 barrels per day.

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