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UPDATE: Max Petroleum makes new oil discovery in Kazakhstan

UPDATE: Max Petroleum makes new oil discovery in Kazakhstan

Broker comment

Kazakhstan-focused oil and gas explorer Max Petroleum (LON:MXP) said today that it has made a new oil discovery at the KZIE-1 exploration well in its East Kyzylzhar I prospect.

The well has reached a total depth of 1,620 metres, with electric logs indicating 17 metres of net oil pay in two Jurassic sandstone reservoirs at depths ranging between 987 and 1,251 metres.

The firm added that reservoir quality appears to be “excellent”, with porosities ranging from 20 per cent to 30 per cent.

Max is now running production casing in the well, which is expected to be completed and placed on test production within 90 days.

“We have now made five field discoveries since we renewed our post-salt exploration programme in January 2010, with another three post-salt prospects to test this quarter alone,” said Robert Holland, Max’s executive co-chairman.

“We are well positioned to execute on our exploration programme regardless of macro market conditions and look forward to continue generating significant value for our shareholders in the very near-term.”

Meanwhile, Max also announced this morning that its UTS-2 confirmation well in the Uytas Field has now reach a total depth of 820 metres and that electric logs there indicate 12 metres of net oil pay in the Cretaceous section at depths ranging from 108 to 148 metres.

Again, the reservoirs here are described as being of “excellent quality”, with porosities ranging from 25 per cent to 34 per cent.

The firm said it had also identified an additional six metres of net oil pay in Jurassic reservoirs at depths of approximately 350 metres.

Analyst Brenan Long, of broker Merchant Securities, described the news from the firm as "very material" and "positive" and said it extended the company's winning streak.

"Having oil or not is more significant than the price of oil, positive exploration risks trumps the financial crisis, weakness in the stock has increased the buy opportunity," he said in a note.

The analyst added that more exploration success was possible.

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