Nighthawk, the US focused shale oil development and production company announces an update on its drilling program including a new oil discovery at the Steamboat Hansen 8-10 well at its 100% controlled and operated project at Jolly Ranch in the Denver-Julesburg Basin, Colorado.
- The Steamboat Hansen 8-10 well, the fourth well in Nighthawk's 2012 drilling program, has discovered a Mississippian age, conventional oil-bearing reservoir at a depth of just over 8,000 feet.
- The reservoir has been logged and tested and the well has been brought onto production.
- Internal analysis indicates potential oil initially in place of 4 to 8 million barrels.
- Planning for further development of the reservoir is underway.
- Open-hole logging of the Steamboat Hansen 8-10 has identified oil producing potential in the Cherokee shale formation at a depth of around 7,400 feet.
- Well confirms significant potential in Nighthawk's hitherto undrilled northern acreage and this area now to be separately identified as the Smoky Hill Project.
- Whistler 6-22, the final well in the drilling program and also located in the Smoky Hill project area, currently being tested in the Cherokee and Marmaton formations.
Steamboat Hansen 8-10 Well
(Nighthawk 100% Working Interest/80% Net Revenue Interest)
The Steamboat Hansen 8-10 well is the fourth well in Nighthawk's 2012 five well drilling program. The well was successfully drilled to its target depth of 8,500 feet in seven days. The well was logged and cased. This is the most northerly well drilled on Nighthawk acreage, over 20 miles north of the recently drilled John Craig 6-2 well, and 45 miles north of the older Craig wells. It is the first well drilled in this area for over 25 years. The well had two primary objectives, to establish the commercial potential of the Cherokee shale formations in this northern area and to test a specific Mississippian structure identified from 3D seismic analysis.
Both objectives have been successfully achieved with the open-hole logs identifying oil producing potential in the Cherokee shale formation. However, further testing and completion of this zone will not be undertaken until the newly discovered deeper oil reservoir is produced. This structure is Mississippian in age and the well penetrated two oil-bearing intervals totaling thirty-eight feet between 8,025 and 8,065 feet deep. These intervals were logged and a bottom hole pressure build-up was performed. Both oil-bearing intervals were tested and the results showed a 75:25 oil/water ratio. The well was completed naturally without acid stimulation or clean-up.
Initial analysis of the oil shows it to be a light 38-40 degree API, slightly viscous oil. Appropriate production facilities, including heated storage tanks, have been installed and commercial production commenced on 28 November 2012. An update on production rates will be issued once steady production has been established.
Nighthawk's analysis of the reservoir indicates potential for oil initially in place of 4 to 8 million barrels depending on assumptions around the areal extent of the structure. The Company is commissioning an independent assessment of the reservoir potential which will provide greater detail on the oil in place and the potential recovery factors. Further development work is likely to be required to fully evaluate this discovery.
Smoky Hill Project
The Steamboat Hansen 8-10 well is the first well drilled in this area of Colorado for over 25 years. Nighthawk holds around 90,000 acres in the area across two counties, Washington and Lincoln. This acreage is 40-50 miles north of the Jolly and Craig leases which were the focus of previous drilling, and the Steamboat Hansen 8-10 well has opened up a new area and a new oil play for future development. This area will now be known as the Smoky Hill project and a new operational base in Limon has been acquired to service this area. The Whistler 6-22 well has also been drilled on the Smoky Hill project area and lies approximately 2 miles to the south-east of the Steamboat Hansen 8-10 location. The well is currently undergoing completion operations in the Cherokee and Marmaton formations.
Jolly Ranch Project
The Jolly Ranch project now covers Nighthawk's acreage in the southern part of Lincoln and Elbert counties, and includes three recently drilled wells in addition to the older wells. Of the three new wells, work on bringing the Knoss 6-21 well into production is progressing well although slightly delayed as the work-over rig has remained longer than expected at the Steamboat Hansen 8-10 location. Production is expected to commence within the next two weeks.
Following final completion work on the Knoss 6-21 the work-over rig will move to the John Craig 6-2 well. The oil/water ratio at this well has fallen over the past two weeks, resulting in a drop in oil production, and the well requires re-perforating and re-setting of the pump. The Company still plans to re-complete the Pike's Peak Williams 4-30 well, which has not yet produced, but this is now likely to be in the New Year. A further update will be released once 2012 rig operations are completed.
Stephen Gutteridge, Chairman of Nighthawk, commented:
"The Steamboat Hansen 8-10 well has been highly successful, confirming the potential of the Cherokee shale in our northern Smoky Hill project with the bonus of a new and potentially sizeable Mississippian oil discovery. "This discovery opens up the possibility of further Mississippian potential which is a very active play in Western Kansas, North Western Oklahoma, Texas panhandle and further east in Colorado, but is a completely new oil play in this part of the Denver-Julesberg basin and potentially adds substantial value to our large acreage position in this area.
"Nighthawk now has major opportunities for production growth in 2013 - the further commercial exploitation of our widespread Cherokee shale resource, the development of a new conventional oil-field and the possibility of additional conventional Mississippian discoveries in our northern acreage."