North Africa gets first shale gas frac job

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Aug. 30
-- The first hydraulic fracturing operation in a shale gas reservoir in North Africa took place earlier this year in El Franig field in west-central Tunisia in the Ghadames basin, said Cygam Energy Inc., Calgary.

Perenco, Paris, pumped 45 tonnes of ceramic sand into the Lower Ordovician Hamra quartzite at 4,000 m in Well No. 1 in El Franig field. The job opened an estimated 500-ft fracture. Perenco said initial well test results confirmed the potential to double gas production to 10 MMscfd, with possible further increases once the well cleaned up.

Later, another frac job was carried out at Well No. 5 in a shale formation of Silurian age, presumably the Tannezuft, in which 600 cu m of water charged with thin sand were pumped into the source rock formation at 3,950 m, generating a dense complex of microfractures.

Cygam Energy operates the Sud Tozeur permit and has finished detailed seismic interpretation in the eastern part of the permit just north of El Franig field. Seismic has indicated the presence of one structure with conventional and unconventional Silurian and Ordovician potential just north of the field and several other structures on the permit.

Sud Tozeur covers 1.08 million acres near the border with Algeria. Cygam’s 100% working interest in Sud Tozeur will be reduced to 89%, including 7.7% free carried interest, once an existing joint venture partner earns an interest in the permit by fulfilling a drilling obligation.

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