The EMD-1 well is located within the north central area of the Mahdia permit in a water depth of 240 m (787 ft), is 120 km (75 mi) east of the port of Sousse. The EMD-1 well was spudded on June 8 and drilled to a TD of 1,200 m (3,937 ft) MD in the Upper Ketatna carbonates.
The stratigraphy encountered in the well was 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 m (436 ft).
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, says Circle. 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 m (253 ft) and the Upper Ketatna has a minimum interval of 48 m (157 ft), 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 100 MMbbl of oil.
During the drilling of the target carbonates, severe mud losses occurred and multiple remedial operations to restore circulation were performed. The hole conditions in the well deteriorated rapidly and multiple attempts at openhole logging by wireline and tough logging conditions equipment failed. Ultimately, the decision was taken to terminate further efforts and suspend the well.
Circle Oil has been granted a six-month extension to the Mahdia permit to January 2015. It then has the right to elect for two additional renewals of the permit for three years, each with a commitment of one well per period.