VANCOUVER, British Columbia--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 8, 2000--
(CDNX:CBN) (CDNX:POE) (CDNX:PRP) (OTC Bulletin Board:TRIL) (CDNX:ASV)
David Patterson Chairman of the EKHO Project consortium is
pleased to announce that the EKHO No. 1 test well was spudded February
7, 2000 and is drilling ahead toward a target depth of 19,500 feet,
according to Tri-Valley Oil & Gas Co., operator of the EKHO Project.
Located 40 miles northwest of Bakersfield, California, the EKHO
No. 1 is the first of three wells scheduled to test a large
structurally controlled stratigraphic trap identified geologically and
confirmed by seismic data. The target formation is in the Temblor
sandstones, a thick package of Middle and Lower Miocene horizons in
which previous drilling identified oil and hydrocarbon prone sections.
Nine Canadian Venture Exchange (CDNX) resource companies and
various individual investors have funded the EKHO No. 1. The EKHO
Consortium includes, Aster Ventures Corp, (ASV.V) with a 20% working
interest, Curion Venture Corp. (CUV.V) 20%, Lucre Ventures Ltd.
(LVD.V) 12%, Berkshire International Mining Ltd. (BKR.V) 10%, CVL
Resources (CVL.V) 9.64%, Consolidated Bradbury International Equities
(CBN.V) 5%, Curlew Lake Resources (CWQ.V) 5%, Pan Ocean Explorations
(POE.V) 5% and Prairie Pacific Energy Corporation (PRP.V) 5%.
Pursuant to the terms of the Participation Agreement, TRIL will
be carried for 12.5% interest through drilling and completion. After
completion, TRIL will pay its proportionate share of well costs. After
the partners are paid back their drilling and completion costs from
production, TRIL will back in for an additional 12.5% to bring its
total working interest to 25% in the entire project.
The south San Joaquin Valley, and its southernmost county, Kern,
is emerging as North America's hottest onshore deep exploration area.
With the shallower zones having given up approximately 13 billion
barrels from over 100,000 wells drilled in the south San Joaquin
Valley, a tremendous deep exploration frontier exists where less than
70 wells have penetrated below 15,000 feet, and most off-structure. In
some areas, there is a sediment thickness of as much as 45,000 feet
with many of the prolific oil and gas producing formations diving
deeper due to the extensive faulting of the area bounded by the active
San Andreas Fault.
Some of the deeper wells include the Tenneco/Union/Great Basins
Petroleum 66X-3, which holds the record as America's deepest oil
producer at 18,878 feet. It was abandoned early due to downhole
problems shortly after being completed and is now owned by Tri-Valley
and the EKHO Project consortium, which plans a later reentry to
attempt recompletion of shallower, previously untested zones. Another
nearby well, the Great Basins/Tenneco 31X-10, held the California
depth record of 21,640 feet for many years and flowed 1,000 barrels a
day through a crack in the lap cement before being abandoned due to
completion and partner problems.
The EKHO No.1 will offset both of these wells and the Company
believes the well risk is not so much geological as it is downhole
mechanical drilling and completion risk. Accordingly, Tri-Valley hired
Joe Kandle in mid-1998. Mr. Kandle had been senior drilling engineer
for Mobil Oil on the 20,754-foot Mobil-Tupman well on the south end of
the EKHO Project and then Great Basins Petroleum's vice president of
engineering on the Great Basins/Tenneco 31X-10 depth record holder and
the Tenneco/Union/Great Basins 66X-3.
"These deep wells were drilled over 25 years ago and equipment
and technology advances give Tri-Valley a new opportunity to get what
we already know is there," said Kandle, now president of Tri-Valley
Oil & Gas Co., a subsidiary of publicly traded Tri-Valley Corporation.
The conventional industry wisdom of tight sands at depth was
recently overturned by the spectacular blowout of the Bellevue No. 1
at 17,646 feet on November 23, 1998. Drilled on the northwest flank of
the EKHO Project by a different Canadian/U.S. consortium, the well's
"Middle East" flow rates defied numerous attempts to control it until
a relief well was drilled six months later. So far, the Bellevue group
has yet to obtain commercial production but is continuing its efforts
under a different operator.
"Tri-Valley is building on several previous tests by others and
has the advantage of 25 years of industry advances as well as the
experiences of Joe Kandle and his team who have all drilled deep, high
pressure, high temperature wells," said F. Lynn Blystone, president
and chief executive officer of Tri-Valley Corporation, the publicly
traded parent (OTC BB "TRIL") of Tri-Valley Oil & Gas Co., EKHO
On Behalf of the EKHO Project Consortium
"David Patterson", Chairman
The Canadian Venture Exchange has not reviewed and does not
accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
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