Shares in Afren jumped more than 10% in early trading, before falling back slightly, following the company's announcement that the high impact Simrit-2 exploration well, located on the Ain Sifni PSC in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, has discovered a significant oil accumulation based on the results of drilling, wireline logs and sidewall core sampling.
The objective of the Simrit-2 exploration well is to test the western extent of the Simrit anticline. The well has reached the prognosed total measured depth of 3,700 m (3,697 m true vertical depth). Preliminary analysis of data collected during and following drilling indicates that the well has encountered an estimated 409 m of net oil pay in Cretaceous, Jurassic and Triassic age reservoirs (an estimated 312 m of this pay is interpreted as containing light oil). No oil water contact has been established in the target reservoirs.
As there are continuing strong hydrocarbon shows to the current depth of 3700 m, Afren and operator Hunt Oil Middle East plan to run casing at the current depth and continue drilling to a new total depth of circa 3,800 m to test additional zones of prospectivity.
Once drilling operations have concluded a comprehensive well testing programme will be undertaken across multiple reservoir intervals, after which the drilling rig will be mobilised to the East Simrit prospect to drill the Simrit-3 exploration well. Afren has a 20 per cent. interest in the Ain Sifni PSC and is partnered by Hunt Oil Middle East (60 per cent. and operator) and the Kurdistan Regional Government (20 per cent.).
Osman Shahenshah, Chief Executive of Afren, commented:
"The successful result of the Simrit-2 exploration well represents a second major exploration success for Afren in 2012, following on from the Okoro East discovery offshore south east Nigeria. The scale of the oil column that has been intersected suggests that the Simrit structure and surrounding prospects elsewhere on the Ain Sifni PSC have the potential to be transformational for Afren".