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Mongolia: Manas needs more seismic before drilling

Manas Petroleum Corp., Baar, Switzerland, said its subsidiary Gobi Energy Partners LLC has secured a rig to drill two exploratory wells in Mongolia starting in August 2012 but the prospects require more seismic so that the company may pinpoint the best locations.

The 2011 and 2012 work programs of seismic and passive seismic allowed the delineation from scratch of 17 prospects and leads in five subbasins. Ranking resulted in selection of the Ger Chuluu and Sainshand A prospects to be drilled in the first phase. Unegt B, based on a lesser known petroleum system and therefore not suitable as first well, is to be third.

Due to the polyphasic tectonic environment--extension followed by large-scale strike-slip and inversion—Ger Chuluu and Sainshand A need more seismic to mitigate structural risk before drilling. No major changes in closure or area are expected, but trap compartmentalization has to be assessed as this could influence the location.

Furthermore, both prospects have multiple targets, and therefore reservoir dipping has to be checked by additional seismic to ensure overlaying in the drilling location.

Manas signed a contract in March 2012 with Sinopec for 335 line-km of additional seismic on blocks XIII and XIV that is to start in mid-July. The drilling contract is with Sinopec’s Shengli Petroleum affiliate, and the rig has been mobilized and inspected and awaits the seismic outcome. Drilling depth at Ger Chuluu 1 will be 1,200 m.

The blocks are in the East Gobi basin about 800 km northwest of Beijing.


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