Aurelian successfully completes Voitinel-1 fracture and readies new drilling at Suceava Block


Aurelian Oil & Gas (AIM: AUL) has successfully completed the fracture stimulation of the Voitinel-1 well in northern Romania, with the ‘1650 sand’ showing a stabilised flow rate of 2.5 million standard cubic feet per day (mscf/d) - a 67% improvement on the rate at October 2009.

Consequently, the company believes that the Voitinel structure could now have the potential to produce up to 6 billion cubic feet (Bcf) per well at an average rate of 2.5mscf/d for the first year.

“The successful fracture of the 1650 sand in Voitinel-1 is the first stage in appraising the commercial development of the Voitinel/Solca trend which could have up to 400 bcf of gas in place”, Aurelian Chief Executive Rowen Bainbridge said. “We are now preparing for stage two of the appraisal process and are mobilising equipment for a test, next month, of the 1400 sand in Voitinel-1”.

The company said that the initial appraisal results have increased its confidence, that a combination of fraccing and high angle wells can be used to implement a successful commercial development of the Voitinel/Solca Trend.

Aurelian holds a 33.75% interest in the EIII-1 Exploration Area of the Brodina Block, which hosts the  Voitinel/Solca trend, which is being appraised in partnership with Europa Oil & Gas (AIM: EOG) who have a 28.75% interest and a domestic Romanian oil an gas company, Romgaz SA, owns the remaining 37.50%.

Elsewhere in Romania, at the Suceava Block, Aurelian told investors that the Dafora F100 drilling unit has arrived on site in preparation for the spudding of the Climauti-1 Well. Aurelian expects the rig to be ready for acceptance testing today, Monday 24th May, with the well spud expected to follow later this week.

Climauti-1 will be drilled to a target depth of 600m to evaluate two Sarmatian sands identified on previously acquired seismic data. According to Aurelian, the well is potentially targeting approximately 2bcf of recoverable gas reserves, and if its successful, the well will be tied back to Aurelian's Bilca Gas Processing Facilities.

Its anticipated that the gas from the Climauti-1 well would increase Aurelian's forecast production by approximately 18% over the expected seven year life of the well. Aurelian is exploring the Suceava Block through a 50%:50% partnership with Regal Petroleum (AIM: RPT).

Aurelian also updated investors on the progress being made in Bulgaria, where the operator of the B1-Golitza licence, JKX Oil and Gas (LSE: JKX), has signed a Letter of Intent with Weatherford Drilling International for a CCC-500 drilling unit for the upcoming two well programme.

It is expected that the two wells will spud mid Q3 and early/mid Q4 2010 respectively.

The first well in the programme will test a potential 20-30 bcf prospect at 1,500 metres, while the second well will also test a potential 20-30 bcf prospect at a depth of 600m. The results of the wells are expected in early October 2010 and the end of Q4 2010 respectively.

JKX, acting as the project’s operator, holds a 40% interest in the B1-Golitza block, Aurelian’s wholly-owned subsidiary Balkan Explorers Ltd has 30% and Sorgenia International BV owns the remaining 30%.

The update represents the latest development in the company’s busy 2010 work programme across its broad project portfolio in Central Europe.  Earlier this month, Aurelian announced that it will drill the first multi-fracced horizontal well at its flagship Siekierki gas project - located in Poland - in June 2010. Also in Poland, the company plans to drill the first Bieszczady exploration well, in the Carpathian Thrust Fold belt, in October.

At Siekierki, construction of the wellsite for Trzek-2, the first horizontal well, is close to completion. The wellsite is 2 kilometres to the southeast of Aurelian's Trzek-1 well which was drilled, fracced and tested gas at 7.5 million standard cubic feet a day (MMscfd) in 2007.  In Trzek-2, a vertical pilot will be drilled through the reservoir to obtain core and log data and a horizontal well sidetracked up to 1500 metres back towards Trzek-1.

The rig which will be used for Trzek-2 will be released by the current operator at the end of May 2010 allowing a Siekierki spud in late June 2010 as planned.

The Siekierki project is located in the Poznan licences, which are 100 percent held by Energia Zachód, a company owned 90 percent by Aurelian and 10 percent by Avobone NV. Energia Zachód is operator of the Siekierki project.

At Bieszczady in Poland, interpretation of the 281 kilometres 2D seismic programme undertaken in 2009 is now complete.  A series of prospects have been identified in addition to those identified by GCA in its December 2009 report where Aurelian was allocated a mid case prospective oil resource of 89 mmbbls.  

A prospect will now be selected by the group for drilling in the fourth quarter 2010 and an announcement made in July providing more details of the selected prospect.

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