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Max Petroleum faces further difficulties in Kazakhstan

Oilfield Technology,

Max Petroleum has announced that it is facing further difficulties with its NUR-1 well offshore Kazakhstan. The drilling of the NUR-1 well was delayed in April when tools became stuck. The company has since run into similar problems again as “anomalously high pressures” caused a drill string to become stuck in a side-track.

According to the company, “The delays largely result from the drill string becoming stuck in the top of salt in April at a depth of 5718 m.

“After side-tracking the well and setting casing at 5681 m, the company drilled ahead. However, progress was slow as the company drilling alongside the stuck drilling tools.

“After clearing the old wellbore, the well reached the Kungarian Salt on 19 June 2012. Due to encountering anomalously high pressures, the drill pipe has become stuck again at 5722 m, despite using the higher density mud specified for penetrating this section.

“Operations are now ongoing to increase the mud density further, free the stuck pipe by dissolving the salt with fresh water, and continue drilling through the sale to the next casing point at 5900 m.”

The company now does not believe it will the targeted total depth of 7250 m before August.

The difficulties at NUR-1 have placed the company in a tricky financial situation, with the costs of the well estimated at US$ 43 million “with expected forward costs of US$ 43 million. The company’s current outstanding debt is US$ 54.2 million of a total allowance of US$ 58 million.

The double helping of bad news has worried investors, sending the company’s share price tumbling down by as much as 71% at one point. Currently, the share price is just under 53% down.




Edited from various sources by David Bizley

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