Circle Oil has started drilling its first exploration well, EMD-1, on the Mahdia Permit offshore Tunisia.
The well is located close to various oil fields, including the Tazerka, Birsa, Oudna and Halk El Menzel, as well as the Maamoura gas field.
EMD-1, which is being drilled by PetroSaudi Discoverer drillship, will test the play potential of the El Mediouni prospect, including the primary Birsa Sands target and the secondary fractured carbonates of the Ketatna formation.
The company’s pre-drill P50 estimate of oil in place at the Birsa Sands is 185 million barrels and it anticipates reaching the primary target at 1,260m with the Ketatna Carbonates at 1,460m.
The drilling phase is anticipated to last five to seven weeks.
The company estimates that there may be approximately 46 million barrels of oil in the prospect, which it says is substantially larger than the recoverable commercial threshold of ten million barrels.
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Circle Oil CEO Chris Green 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 programme."
Circle Oil is an Irish incorporated Middle East and Africa-focused oil and gas exploration and production firm with a portfolio of assets in Morocco, Tunisia, Oman and Egypt.
Image: The drilling phase is anticipated to last five to seven weeks. Photo: courtesy of suwatpo / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.