Petroceltic International has begun development drilling on its flagship Ain Tsila gas and condensate field in Algeria.
The newly built Sinopec Rig 50117 arrived on the Isarene permit during November 2015, was assembled successfully on site, and has now passed acceptance testing.
The first well was spudded yesterday (February 21) – marking a significant milestone for the Irish explorer which has endured boardroom warfare in recent months with activist investor Worldview Capital challenging the management .
In addition to the commencement of development drilling, the tender of the major field Engineering Procurement and Construction (“EPC”) contract covering main field facilities and pipelines is progressing.
Petroceltic holds a 38.25% interest, Sonatrach a 43.375% interest, and Enel an 18.375% interest in the Isarene PSC.
Petroceltic continues to benefit from a carry of its development costs in respect of Ain Tsila following the completion of the sale of an 18.375% interest to Sonatrach in July 2014.
Chief executive Brian O’Cathain, said: “We are delighted to start development drilling on Ain Tsila and look forward to building on the success of earlier wells in the highly productive northern part of the field.
“Ain Tsila is a world-class asset and the main focus of our business. We are collaborating with our partners on a number of opportunities to reduce overall development risk and enhance long term-field recovery and value, and these will be progressed in parallel with the EPC award process.”
The company said it has received a further waiver of repayments under its senior bank facility until March 4.