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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Oman and RAK face problem while drilling well

By Agencies on Sunday, March 30 , 2008

RAK Petroleum and Oman’s Ministry of Oil and Gas are evaluating other drilling options for the Al Jariya-1 high impact exploration well, close to the border with Abu Dhabi, said RAK Petroleum.

RAK Petroleum, through its wholly owned subsidiary, RAK Petroleum Oman Limited, is operator of Block 31 in Oman, where it is drilling the Al Jariya-1 well, which is located at Jebel Hafit, close to Oman’s border with Abu Dhabi.

Chief Executive Officer Peter Sadler said: “While drilling at a depth of 5,131 metres, we encountered an area of high pressure and the well took an unexpected influx of water and gas.”
He said the resulting high pressure experienced at surface and the hole conduit well have severely complicated rigging operations.

“Proceeding in a steady, safe manner, we are intending to carry out surveys to ascertain the current status of the open section of hole and then formulate a plan to ensure that the zone is isolated in the well,” he added.

Sadler said RAK Petroleum has been examining the rock cuttings from the formation encountered close to the bottom of the hole, along with temperature information just prior to and during the well control incident.

“It is apparent that the formation encountered immediately prior to the well control incident is a limestone unit of Campanian age,” he noted, adding that the finding contrasts with the first reservoir objective, the Natih formation, which is a shelf carbonate of Cenomanian age, about seven million years older.”

The company said it estimated the Natih to be between 20 metres and 180 metres [with a best estimate of 50 metres] deeper than the deepest point currently reached.

According to the company, Shuaiba (Thamama) is anticipated to lie another 200 metres down and separated than the top of the Natih. The source of the formation fluids that flowed to surface is uncertain.

Temperature information is not conclusive but the fluids could originate from the limestone stringer encountered, or slightly deeper if a fault had been intersected.

In order to drill deeper than the current level, Sadler said the company will, at the least, have to abandon the existing section of open hole below 4,591 metres and sidetrack from inside the existing casing. RAK Petroleum is drawing up plans in conjunction with Omani Oil and Gas Ministry and Indago Petroleum Limited, which holds an approximate 50 per cent interest in Block 31. RAK Petroleum, holds the rest.
Last Update at 8:56 am on March 30, 2008,
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