Max Petroleum spuds well on Block E in Kazakhstan

2011-08-24 09:38:00

Kazakhstan operating oil firm Max Petroleum (LON:MXP) has spudded a well on the Sagiz West prospect and hired a rig to drill the ASK-2 exploration well in the Asanketken field.Both Sagiz West and Asanketken are located on the company’s Block E in Kazakhstan.This morning Max Petroleum advised that drilling has started on the SAGW-1 exploration well to test Sagiz West, which has an estimated mean unrisked potential of 26 million barrels of oil.In the meantime, Max has hired a ZJ-50 rig capable of drilling to 5,000 metres, to drill the ASK-2 exploration well on Asanketken.Max expects to spud ASK-2 before the end of August. The well will test the field’s potential in the Triassic section and evaluate potential reservoirs in the shallower Jurassic section, which were found to be productive in the ASK-1 discovery well.The company is currently holding discussions with a drilling contractor to secure a rig to drill the UR-1 pre-salt exploration well in the Emba B prospect on Block E, which is expected in October this year.The deep rig is currently completing a well for another operator and is expected to begin moving to the NUR-1 site by the end of the month.In addition to that, Max told investors that it has expanded its post-salt prospect inventory with two prospects, including Uytas North and Karasai South on Block A.Uytas North has unrisked mean resource potential of 11 million barrels of oil (mmbo) with a 38 percent chance of success (COS), while Karasai South’s potential is estimated at 12 mmbo with a 34 percent COS.Max has also released its financial results for the year to end March this morning, reporting a 28 percent increase in revenues to US$55.3 million, which was due to higher oil prices. The company’s output was flat at 760,000 barrels of oil.Max posted a loss of US$18.2 million for the year, down from a loss of US$253.4 million in the previous year, which included impairment and restructuring charges totalling 218.1 million.Shares in Max rose 2 percent to 12.5 pence in early deals, giving it a market cap of £115.4 million.