First Hassi Mouina well completed

March 27, 2007, 09:30 CEST

Operator Statoil in partnership with Sonatrach have completed and tested its first onshore exploration and appraisal well in the Hassi Mouina licence in the Sahara Desert, Algeria. The companies are now underway with the drilling of licence well number two.

"We are pleased with this successful drill operation," says David Poole, Statoil's vice president for exploration in Algeria.

"The result gives valuable information on the resource potential in the licence."

The drilling of the Hassi Tidjerane 2 (HTJ-2) well began on 14 November 2006. Nabor Drilling's Rig 284 has drilled the well to a total depth of some 3,200 metres.

Comprehensive gathering and logging of 166 metres of convential core samples have been taken. A production test at around 1,200 metres has also been carried out. A flow rate of 7,083 cubic metres of gas (scm) per hour at a depth of 1,131-1,142 metres, and 9,012 scm of gas at 1,113-1,129 metres was achieved through a 32/64-inch choke.

The primary purpose of the well was to reach the reservoir rocks of Devonian age.

The drill rig has now been moved to the next location which is the Hassi Tidjerane West 1 (HTJW-1) well, where Statoil and Sonatrach spudded on 16 March.

The Hassi Mouina licence was awarded in June 2004. It comprises four blocks within an area of 23,000 square kilometres in the Gourara basin. Hassi Mouina is about half the size of Denmark.

The area lies in Algeria's western desert, north-west of the In Salah gas field, where Statoil has a 31.85% share.

Statoil's share in Hassi Mouina is 75%. Sonatrach is partner with 25%.

Operator Statoil has completed its first onshore exploration and appraisal well in the middle of the Sahara. (Photo: Øyvind Hagen)