Circle Oil has started drilling exploration well EMD-1 on the offshore Mahdia Permit using the drillship PetroSaudi Discoverer.
The well is near existing producing fields, including the Tazerka, Birsa, Oudna, and Halk El Menzel oil fields, and the Maamoura gas field.
The well is planned to test the play potential of the El Mediouni prospect, including the primary Birsa Sands target and the secondary fractured carbonates of the Ketatna Formation.
Circle says: "The Birsa Sands alone have a management pre-drill P50 estimate of 185 MMbo STOOIP. The primary target, the Birsa Sands, is expected at 1260m MD with the Ketatna Carbonates at 1460m MD. The management view on the recoverable prospective resources estimate for the El Medouini prospect is 46 MMbo for the Birsa Sands objective alone. This is substantially larger than the recoverable commercial threshold for the area which stands at approximately 10 MMbo."
Depending on progress rates the well is expected to take about 5-7 weeks to drill.
Commenting on the spudding of EMD-1, Prof. Chris Green, Circle's CEO, said:
"We are very pleased to be drilling what is our first offshore well and to be working with PetroSaudi and other experienced service companies on this project. It marks the start of another stage in our busy 2014 operational work program."