The company announced in a press release on Thursday the results of the exploration well on the Ioana prospect in Block 15 Midia in the Romanian Black Sea. The well was drilled to a total depth of 1,950 metres measured depth (MD), 1,513 metres true vertical depth subsea (TVDSS). Gas shows from drilling mud gas measurements were experienced from a depth of 500 MD down to total depth of 1,950 metres MD. 'We are encouraged by the gas saturations in the primary objective, thereby proving up potential trap and gas sourcing to the structure.
However, the reservoir development is poorer than expected in this up dip area of the prospect and will require further work with seismic and drilling to appraise the large Ioana structure further to the east,' stated Patrick Whitley, Sterling's Vice President, International Exploration. The Ioana-1 well is situated on the western edge of a very large areal structure of some 150 square kilometres. The well location was selected at the deepest water depth location possible in which the only available jack-up drilling unit, the Grup Servicii Petroliere SA rig 'GSP Jupiter', could safely operate. 'We gave strong assurance to the Romanian government early this year, having received their approvals, to resume our long-awaited exploration of the Midia Block by drilling the Ioana-1 well as soon as possible in 2012,' said Mike Azancot, Sterling's President and CEO.
'While the results from this first well on the prospect have not confirmed commercial resources, the extensive gas shows confirm the presence of an active gas system within the Ioana prospect. We will now be assessing the potential follow on program for the Ioana prospect for next year, which might commence with the acquisition of a 3D seismic survey over Ioana and other Midia Block prospects. Subject to contracting a drilling vessel rated to operate in deeper water (circa 100 metres), we would plan to drill in the most promising part of the Ioana prospect to the south east of the Ioana-1 well, where stronger seismic amplitudes and direct hydrocarbon indicators suggest a better quality gas-bearing reservoir (see Figures 1 and 2). In addition, we plan to drill exploration wells on one or more other prospects in the Midia Block.
All of the above work will be subject to financing, regulatory and partner approvals,' Mr. Azancot added. Midia Resources SRL, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sterling Resources Ltd. (65 percent working interest), is the operator of the Midia and Pelican Blocks in offshore Romania, with partners Petro Ventures Europe BV (20 percent) and Gas Plus International BV (15 percent). Sterling Resources Ltd. is a Canadian-listed international oil and gas company headquartered in Calgary, Alberta with assets in the United Kingdom, Romania, France and the Netherlands. The shares are listed and posted for trading on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol 'SLG'.