Maple Energy readies rig for Peru's Block 31-E

Eric Watkins
Oil Diplomacy Editor

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 16 -- Maple Energy PLC Chief Executive Officer Rex Canon said the company's Maple Rig 1, a 2,000-hp helitransportable diesel electric drilling rig to be used in Peru, has been substantially assembled.

Maple said Maple Rig 1 is undergoing preliminary testing prior to its deployment to the firm's wholly owned Block 31-E. The rig, constructed by Sun Drilling LLC, will be transported to the block in early 2009 to drill Maple's Santa Rosa and Cashiboya Deep exploration prospects.

Maple said it recently acquired about 225 km of seismic data to identify the optimal drilling location(s) for the Cashiboya Deep prospect on the block. It also will provide additional geological information on the Santa Rosa prospect.

"We believe that the new seismic information…[will] assist us in prioritizing these prospects and executing our exploration program," Canon said.
The firm expects that processing and interpretation of seismic data will be completed no later than February 2009, after which drilling at one of the prospects will begin in first-quarter 2009.

Other wells drilled
In October, Maple Energy started drilling its MA46 well as part of Maquia and Agua Caliente oil fields development in northern Peru.

MA46, in Maquia field in the Loreto region, is the first of 22 wells to be drilled under this program.

Maple planned to drill 14 development wells in Maquia field to a depth of nearly 2,000 ft/well, and eight additional development wells in Agua Caliente field to a depth of about 1,000 ft/well.

The firm said drilling activities will take place throughout 2008-09 and will bring additional oil production of at least 385 b/d.

"Dependent upon our success in these initial 22 wells, we may drill an additional nine to develop these fields further," Canon said.

Maple Energy operates blocks 31-E; 31-B, which includes Maquia field; and 31-D, on which Agua Caliente is located. It also holds an interest in the Aguaytia Deep prospect on Block 31-C.

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

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