South Malak-1 has proved to be a long, drawn out operation for operator Aminex. As of the time of going to press in early January 2010, the well was in the process of being hydraulically fractured. It’s a long story.
The exploration well, located in the West esh el Mellaha-2 concession in Egypt, reached a revised total depth(TD) of 11,200 feet (3,415 meters) as far back as 21st October 2009. High gas readings were recorded over 950 feet of hole and mud logs indicated oil shows in Eocene Dolomite and Cretaceous Matulla sands as well as in fractured basement rocks. Casing was set to approximately 170 feet above TD with a view to running an open hole test in the fractured basement rocks, but this was not successful, possibly because of cement contamination blocking the open fractures.
Subsequently, wireline logged oil- bearing intervals in the Eocene Dolomite and Matulla sands were perforated but the formations were found to be too tight to flow satisfactorily. Even the hydraulic fracturing is turning out to be a lengthy process and definitive results may still not be received for several weeks while fluids used in the frac are recovered. Aminex declared, almost in a tone of frustration: “The fracture treatment may or may not be successful in establishing commercial production but in a highly faulted formation the strong evidence of liquid hydrocarbons in close proximity is very encouraging”.
Partners are Aminex Petroleum Egypt Ltd. (80%) and Groundstar Resources Ltd. (20%). Aminex is a 12.5% shareholder in Aminex Petroleum Egypt Ltd. (operator) and is carried by other participants for 10% of exploration costs through to first commercial production. If sub-commercial rates of production are achieved, the carry will continue so long as the drilling programme continues.