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Circle Oil hits pay offshore Tunisia

26th August 2014

Circle Oil has announced a significant oil discovery following the preliminary results of drilling well EMD-1 in the Mahdia Permit, offshore Tunisia

Circle hits oil pay offshore Tunisia
The strong hydrocarbon indications encountered in the Birsa and Ketatna carbonates confirm the existence of a working petroleum system in the Mahdia Permit for this and other prospects

The stratigraphy encountered in the well was exactly as prognosed and very good light oil shows were encountered both in the Lower Birsa carbonate primary target and the Upper Ketatna carbonates secondary target over a combined interval of 133 metres.

"We are extremely pleased to add this potential large discovery to our portfolio in Tunisia,” said Chris Green, Cirle Oil CEO. “It is unfortunate that the hole conditions became untenable so quickly and we were unable to conduct a full log evaluation of the hydrocarbon column in the well.  Nevertheless we intend to take our appraisal effort forward on the Mahdia Permit as quickly as possible following this proof of the El Mediouni petroleum accumulation and will provide further updates of our plans in due course. We look forward to working with ETAP on the next stage of this project."

EMD-1 was spudded on 8 June 2014 and drilled to a TD of 1,200 metres MD in the Upper Ketatna carbonates.

The El Mediouni-1 well (EMD-1) is located within the north central area of the Mahdia Permit in a water depth of 240 metres, 120 kilometres east of the port of Sousse.

The strong hydrocarbon indications encountered in the Birsa and Ketatna carbonates confirm the existence of a working petroleum system in the Mahdia Permit for this and other prospects.

The robustness of the El Mediouni trap has also been proven.

The losses incurred within the target formations, as described below, give further confirmation of high quality permeability. The gross oil zone interval in the Lower Birsa is 77 metres and the Upper Ketatna has a minimum interval of 48 metres, subject to confirmation by logs. Using known reservoir and fluid parameters from equivalent formations in the Gulf of Hammamet, the internally estimated most likely recoverable prospective resources discovered by the EMD-1 well are approximately 100 MMBO.

During the drilling of the target carbonates, severe mud losses occurred and multiple remedial operations to restore circulation were performed.  This included the pumping of numerous CaCO3 pills, conventional lost circulation material and large volumes of sea water.

The hole conditions in the well deteriorated rapidly and multiple attempts at open hole logging by wireline and tough logging conditions equipment failed.

Ultimately the decision was taken to terminate further efforts and suspend the well.

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