Aussies explore E. Kazakh Alakol, Balkhash basins

By OGJ editors

North Caspian Petroleum Ltd., a subsidiary of International Petroleum Ltd., Perth, has reached final depth of 2,019 m at Well A-8, fourth well on the large Alakol block in eastern Kazakhstan along the border with China.

Fourth well drilled on the block, A-8 has been logged and is to be drillstem tested. Oil seeps and sheens prove that the Alakol basin has generated hydrocarbons, and seismic data indicate that potential Jurassic and Triassic reservoirs are present as stratigraphic traps on the flanks of Paleozoic-age volcanic intrusions or basement highs.

The 24,649 sq km block covers parts of the Alakol and Balkhash basins and contains 12 prospects well defined by good quality seismic resolution and pronounced structural features, IPL said. Consulting engineers issued a best estimate of 1,379 billion bbl of undiscovered, recoverable resources on the block.

IPL owns a 50% interest in and has exclusive exploratory rights to the Kazakhstan project until November 2012 under a joint operating agreement with Remas Corp. LLP, which has the other 50%.

The A-1 well went to 2,488 m, and testing was postponed. A-2 went to 2,229 m and was suspended in November 2010 due to dangerous winds. A-3 went to 1,066 m and was abandoned in March 2011 after encountering volcanic structures that made it impossible to drill deeper.

A-8 and the next well, A-9, are away from volcanic features. Two more exploratory wells could be drilled in 2012.

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