Stratic Energy Corp. and its partners Toreador Resources Corp. and TPAO, the Turkish national oil company, have discovered natural gas in the Ayazli-1 exploratory well in the Black Sea offshore Turkey. Analysis of drilling, wireline logging, and testing results has identified gas zones from 2,122 ft to 3,171 ft. On multiple tests conducted through casing, the combined flow rate on a 32/64-in. choke was 15 MMcf/d of gas with a maximum flowing wellhead pressure of 824 psi.
Stratic drilled the Ayazli-1 well on its South Akcakoca prospect in the shallow waters of the Black Sea 15 kms north-northwest of the coastal city of Eregli, 200 km east of Istanbul. The well encountered gas in the Eocene age Kusuri Formation, which was the well's primary objective. This Tertiary sequence also tested gas in the nearby Akcakoca-1 well, which TPAO drilled in 1975. Ayazli-1 will be temporarily suspended pending future development activity in the South Akcakoca area.
Results indicate that the discovery supports pre-drilling estimates of potential reserves. The partners now plan to conduct a high-definition seismic survey in 4Q 2004 and drill several appraisal and exploratory wells in 2005 while formulating plans for development infrastructure in the area.
"The success of Ayazli-1 has highlighted the prospectivity of this under-explored gas-prone region of the Black Sea and supports Stratic's decision to partner with Toreador in the exploration of the area," Tom Mackay, Stratic's General Manager, says. "Ayazli-1 is the first well to be drilled in the Turkish Black Sea in five years. The proximity to Turkish gas markets makes the area economically attractive and an early development scenario may be contemplated upon completion of new subsurface studies and further drilling."
The well's secondary objective, a potential oil zone in a Mesozoic sand that was indicated on logs in the Akcakoca-1 well, was encountered but not oil bearing.
Spudded in July, 7 km from the coast, thePrometheus jackup rig supplied by Grup Servicii Petroliere (GSP) Romania, a Romanian drilling company, drilled the Ayazli-1 well to 5,951 ft TD in 250 ft of water.
Toreador operates the well through its wholly owned subsidiary, Madison Oil Turkey Inc. Under the terms of a Farm-Out Agreement previously announced, Stratic funded 25% of the costs of the Ayazli-1 well to earn a 12.25% working interest in eight contiguous permits that comprise 962,000 acres. Toreador was responsible for 75% of the well costs and will retain a 36.75% working interest in the permits. TPAO was carried on the well for a 51% working interest and has an option to participate at this rate by funding its pro-rata share of costs related to future exploration, development drilling and subsequent production activities on the eight permits.