WesternZagros Resources has begun drilling the planned sidetrack in the Sarqala-1 well in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. The Company intends to drill a 100 metre sidetrack from the cased wellbore to test the Jeribe reservoir. Results from the drilling and testing program are anticipated in mid April, 2011.
The Company originally drilled Sarqala-1 in 2008 and early 2009, suspending the well after equipment problems prevented logging. Subsequent analysis of the drilling cuttings from, and wireline well logs across, the Jeribe Formation showed good oil potential and led to the decision to re-enter the well bore and to undertake the current sidetrack operation.
"We're entering a very exciting phase in WesternZagros' development," commented Simon Hatfield, the Company's Chief Executive Officer. "Having fulfilled our near term financial requirements and applied lessons learned from our first two wells, we are now anticipating the testing program at Sarqala-1, to be quickly followed by drilling our Mil Qasim exploration well on the adjacent structure."
Prior to commencing the sidetrack, WesternZagros undertook repairs related to a minor casing leak located approximately half way down the well. The analysis of the oil leaking into the casing indicated it is 42.5 degrees API. The gross cost of these repair operations is estimated to be approximately US$10 million.
The Company is currently funding the Sarqala-1 sidetracking and testing as an exclusive operation, which requires WesternZagros to fund 100 percent. The Company expects the gross costs associated with sidetracking and testing operations to be in the range of US$9 to 11 million.