ALMATY, KAZAKHSTAN--(Marketwired - Dec. 4, 2013) - Tethys Petroleum Limited ("Tethys" or "the Company") (TSX:TPL)(LSE:TPL) today gave an update on its operations in Kazakhstan.
The AKD08 ("Doto") exploration well has reached a total depth of 3,556 metres and electric logs have been run to TD in the 8 1/2" hole section. As was previously announced, hydrocarbon indications have been observed in both the Cretaceous and Jurassic sections whilst drilling and from the wireline logs. The well has now been cemented off at the lower Triassic level and the well is being prepared for a testing program on both the Jurassic and on the Cretaceous intervals. Testing of the first zone is expected to take place by the end of December once appropriate Kazakh regulatory approvals have been received. The deeper Triassic section will not be tested as only low permeability zones were encountered.
The AKD09 ("Dexa") exploration well has reached a total depth of 2,452 metres and electric logs have been run. The primary exploration target of the well, the Cretaceous "Doris" channel sandstone, does not appear to be hydrocarbon bearing at this location. The well was targeted at this level to evaluate the potential upside of the Doris field in the area to the north-east of the field. The well is now being prepared to drill a semi-horizontal Doris development well in the Jurassic Limestone sequence close to the Doris field discovery AKD01 well which tested 1,373 barrels of 46° API oil per day from this sequence. The AKD01 well has not to date been commercially produced from the Jurassic as it is currently producing from the Cretaceous sand and therefore this area of the reservoir will be unswept. The AKD09H well will provide a longer production interval in this fractured reservoir sequence using an approach which is commonly used in such zones.
A successful cementing procedure has been carried out on the KBD01 ("Kalypso") well and a comprehensive stimulation and subsequent testing programme, to be conducted primarily by Schlumberger, will commence mid-December, initially on the Permo-Carboniferous interval. The testing programme will involve acid-fracture stimulation of the carbonate interval approximately 4,100 metres below the surface and will take up to one month to complete. Electric logs run over this section and drilling data indicated more than 100 metres of gross potential hydrocarbon bearing zones.
The initial results of the additional seismic acquired in the summer of 2013 are very promising and the first interpretation indicates a prospect in the Kul-Bas Exploration and Production Contract area to the west of the Akkulka Exploration Contract Area (to be named "Klymene"), with the potential to be an order of magnitude bigger than the Doris oil discovery and surrounding prospects (the geographical area of the prospect is up to ten times the areal extent of the Doris oil field). It appears to have good four-way structural closure and positive indications on the newly interpreted seismic. Prospective Resources to NI 51-101 standards are being independently prepared with further information expected to be provided early next year. It is expected to spud this new well in the first half of 2014.
Shallow Gas Drilling program
Currently the tied in gas wells on Kyzyloi and Akkulka can produce approximately 360 thousand cubic metres per day (Mcm/d) (13 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d)). At the current gas price (recently doubled in price to net USD 65 per Mcm (USD 1.84)) this production generates approximately USD 8.3 million per annum in revenue.
The forward gas programme has two aspects: those wells that have been previously drilled and tested that will be tied in and new shallow gas wells with up to 10 new wells planned for 2014.
Previously drilled and tested wells will be brought on stream over the next 12 months, at different stages dependent on their particular location and contract status.
The AKK14 well was drilled in 2008 and tested at 195 Mcm/d (6.9 MMcf/d) in the Tasaran horizon. This gas well has been approved and incorporated under the Akkulka Production Contract. It will be worked over and brought on production in January 2014 and is already tied into the pipeline system.
The AKK05 well was drilled in 2005 and tested at 223Mcm/d (7.9 MMcf/d). This will be worked over in February 2014 whereupon it can be produced for 90 days test production. It is expected that it will be approved and incorporated under the Kyzyloi Production Contract by 3Q 2014 whereupon it can be placed on permanent production, also already being tied into the infrastructure.
The AKK15 and AKK16 wells were drilled in 2008 and tested at 195 Mcm/d (6.9 MMcf/d) and 289 Mcm/d (10.2 MMcf/d) respectively. Additional wells will be drilled in proximity to AKK15 and AKK16 next year and these pipelines will be laid and tied into the optimised infrastructure.
In addition to these tie-ins of already discovered gas accumulations, a comprehensive shallow gas drilling program will be carried out in 2014 to drill up to 10 new shallow gas wells. The initial well locations have been chosen with further targets to be identified close to the gas pipeline after the interpretation of 3D seismic data. These wells are targeting gas at 600-800 metres at the deeper, higher pressured Tasaran sand level that tested strongly on the AKK14 and AKK15 wells, as currently the production is exclusively from the shallower Kyzyloi stratigraphic level. On the previous drilling campaign, 11 out of 13 shallow gas wells were successful and the subsequent seismic acquired (including 3D) is of better quality.
This programme would be expected to significantly increase gas production.
The recently completed Bozoi-Shymkent-China gas pipeline means that for the first time Tethys has two gas pipelines into which it can sell its gas; the pipeline taking gas to China, and the existing Bukhara Urals trunkline that transports gas from Central Asia into Russia and on to Europe. Currently the Chinese pipeline is only taking domestic gas within Kazakhstan to Shymkent but in 2015, gas sales to China will commence.
Tethys' strategy is to carry out the comprehensive outlined program in 2014 in order to complete all work and have all government permissions to commence selling into the Kazakhstan-China pipeline by year-end 2014 when it expects to achieve a significantly higher net price than the current net price of USD 65/Mcm. Tethys believes that currently Chinese buyers are buying gas from Central Asia at much higher prices than this and Tethys expects the price it receives to rise again at that time.
Tethys is focused on oil and gas exploration and production activities in Central Asia and the Caspian Region with activities currently in the Republics of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and most recently is now moving into Georgia. This highly prolific oil and gas area is rapidly developing and Tethys believes that significant potential exists in both exploration and in discovered deposits.
The indications of hydrocarbons from the shows while drilling and the electric log interpretation for the AKD08 ("Doto") well are not necessarily indicative of the possible recovery of hydrocarbons from that well or of long term performance. Production testing and other evaluation will be required before the Company is able to establish the commercial viability of the well.
This press release contains "forward-looking information" which include statements related to the drilling progress of the AKD08, AKD09 and KBD01 wells and on the gas programme. Such forward-looking statements reflect our current views with respect to future events and are subject to certain assumptions, including the assumption on the timing of testing the AKD08 well and the KBD01 testing programme. These forward looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, including the risk that the drilling period for the wells will extend beyond the expected periods and the testing programmes will be delayed or deferred because of operational and geological factors. See our Annual Information Form for the year ended December 31, 2012 for a description of risks and uncertainties relevant to our business, including our exploration activities. The forward looking statements contained herein speak only as of the date of this press release and, unless required by applicable law, the Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise such information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.