Drilling/Production news briefs, May 30

Rio Alto Exploration ... Alberta Research Council ... Ness Energy International ... Lapidoth Israel Oil Prospectors

Rio Alto Exploration Ltd. will spend $30 million (Can.) this year for a pilot oilsands project in northeastern Alberta. The Kirby Project, north of the Cold Lake Weapons Range will use steam-assisted bitumen recovery and parallel well pairs, with planned production of 30,000 b/d beginning in 2004 and a 20-year life projection. A regulatory application will be filed by the end of 2001.

The Alberta Research Council (ARC) says it will select a site in June for a $12 million (Can.) pilot project to extract coalbed methane by injecting carbon dioxide or nitrogen. The ARC has completed a $3 million, 3-year study. The pilot project would use four test wells and one producing well on a lease to be selected with a commercial partner.

Ness Energy International Inc., Willow Park, Tex., has again pushed back the spudding of its Har Sedom No. 1 well in the Dead Sea to Aug. 1. Lapidoth Israel Oil Prospectors Corp. Ltd. has sold the rig previously expected to drill the well, and a replacement will need refurbishment before the well can be drilled. Previously, Har Sedom was expected to spud June 1, and before that Dec. 25.

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