Petro Matad said that it has contracted Mongolia-based experienced and active drilling operator DQE International, for its Rig 40105, to drill the Heron 1 and Gazelle 1 wells in the north of Block XX.

Under the contract, the company holds the option to drill an additional well to allow for immediate appraisal of any discovery made during the 2019 drilling program.

The possible discovery is expected to be tested using a separate workover rig, which was drilling in the nearby Block XIX up until the end of the last drilling season, making the mobilization short and logistically easy.

Petro Matad has signed the second contract with Daton Petroleum Engineering and Oilfield Service, for their Rig DXZ1, to drill the Red Deer 1 well in the south of Block XX.

Under this contract, the company is given an option to drill a second well, to either appraise any discovery made in Red Deer 1 or for drilling in Block V in western Mongolia.

The testing operations of any kind are planned to be carried out by by a separate workover rig. Daton’s rig was working until the end of 2018 and is currently located approximately 125km east of the Red Deer location, making mobilization to Block XX relatively short.

Heron 1 is planned to be drilled to a total depth (TD) of 3,050m and is expected to take approximately 40 days to drill and log.

Once operations at Heron are completed, the rig would be immediately moved to the Gazelle 1 location, where it takes approximately 35 days to drill and log for the planned TD of 2,500m.

Petro Matad CEO Mike Buck said: “We are pleased to announce the signing of the two rig contracts which marks a major milestone for the four well drilling programme scheduled for 2019.

“The contracts secured allow for simultaneous drilling of prospects and immediate appraisal in the event of a discovery which could be transformational for the company. It is an exciting year ahead for Petro Matad and we look forward to working with our contractors to deliver value for our shareholders.”