Roc Oil (Bohai) Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of ROC, advises that production has commenced from the first wells in the 2009 drilling programme in the Zhao Dong Block, Bohai Bay, offshore China. Total gross production from the Zhao Dong Block is currently approximately 21,500 BOPD.
The C-51 well in the Extended Reach Area (ERA) of the C and D Oil Fields commenced production on 20 March and is currently producing at a rate of approximately 1,000 BOPD. A second production well, C-52, commenced production on 29 March and is currently producing at just over 2,000 BOPD. The third production well, D-43, was turned over to operations on 3 April. Following completion of D-43, one further production well will be drilled and two well workovers are planned before the 2009 drilling operations are completed at the ERA (ROC: 24.5%) and C4 Oil Fields (ROC: 11.575% unitised).
A 12 well drilling programme is then planned to commence in mid-April in the C and D Oil Fields.
The number of wells planned to be drilled at Zhao Dong is lower than 2008, and is focused on drilling higher yielding reservoir targets within the existing fields. The drilling programme aims to maintain the average production rate for the year at close to that achieved in 2008 (gross rate of 18,050 BOPD).
Commissioning of ODB, the second drilling platform installed at Zhao Dong during 2008, is progressing on schedule. The construction and fabrication of OPB, the second processing platform to be located at Zhao Dong, continues with installation and commissioning scheduled to be completed during 2H 2009.
Participating interests in Zhao Dong C and D Oil Fields and ERA are:
Roc Oil (Bohai) Company (operator) 24.5%, PetroChina Company Limited 51% and New XCL-China LLC 24.5%.
Commenting on the development programme at Zhao Dong, ROC's Chief Executive Officer, Bruce Clement, stated:
"The recommencement of drilling at Zhao Dong is an important operational activity for ROC. Initial performance from the first production wells is positive and production rates for the first quarter of 2009 have improved on the 2008 performance. This year's drilling programme and budget have been deliberately reduced, compared with prior years, to optimise funding and cash flow in the current economic climate. Importantly, the planned development drilling, in conjunction with the installation of additional production facilities, is forecast to maintain production at an average rate for the year close to that achieved in 2008. At this production rate, Zhao Dong represents approximately 35% of ROC's forecast production for 2009."