The operations have been concluded on the Zaman-1 exploration well, the first of four wells in the 2010 exploration drilling programme. The Zaman-1 well, located approximately 4.5km to the south of the Khurbet east field, targeted the same cretaceous massive formation as is under production at the Khurbet east oil field.

Zaman-1 encountered the top of the cretaceous massive formation at approximately 2086mt measured depth (MD), or 1699mt true vertical depth below mean sea level and 9mt deeper than pre-drilling prognosis. A core section of approximately 3mt was recovered at 2092mt MD that was stained with shows of viscous oil. Wireline logs indicated that approximately 4mt of net reservoir pay of average porosity 17% were encountered near the top of the well, a result consistent with the oil staining observed on the core section.

An open-hole test was conducted between 2086mt and 2100mt MD that flowed formation water at a rate of approximately 1460 barrels per day with only traces of oil being observed at surface. Below 2100mt MD, the reservoir was evaluated from wireline logs as being water bearing and tight with secondary porosity attributable to natural fractures.

Following the completion of operations at Zaman-1, the rig will be moved to the Hanoon-1 exploration well location. The Hanoon-1 well will target the cretaceous massive formation within an anticlinal closure located less than 10km north of Khurbet east field.

Average daily gross oil production at the Khurbet East Field continues at a rate of approximately 17,000 barrels per day with the result that cumulative gross oil production has exceeded seven million barrels, with minimal water production and minimal pressure depletion being observed to date.

Ric Malcolm, CEO of Gulfsands, said: “The results of Zaman-1, the first of our four exploration wells this year, will be evaluated in order to understand the implications for future exploration in the area immediately south of the Khurbet east field. We look forward to spudding our second exploration well, Hanoon-1, imminently which will test the exploration potential to the north of the Khurbet East Field.

“We are obviously pleased with the continuing strong performance of the Khurbet east field and short time it has taken to reach this production milestone.”