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Range Resources Starts Trinidad Oil Drilling Program

Range Resources (ASX: RRS) has kicked off its drilling program in Trinidad aimed at increasing production and reserves with two wells now underway and a third, existing well to be sidetracked soon.

It has also received regulatory approval from the Trinidad government for its farm-in agreement with Niko Resources' (TSE: NKO) 280,000 acre Guayaguayare Block.

Gross oil production for the quarter ended 31 December 2013 was 54,660 barrels, or 594 barrels per day, down from the 636bpd in the previous quarter due to o drilling rig activity over this period due to regulatory inspections of rigs, along with continued execution of the rig fleet maintenance and spare parts program.

Range also noted the proposed merger with International Petroleum will not proceed though constructive negotiations are continuing with regards to Range's $8 million loan to International Petroleum.

Drilling Work

During the quarter, the company continued the planned rig maintenance program required to execute the Trinidad Field Development Plan that is expected to result in increased production, cashflow and proved reserves through drilling and testing.

Since then the company's Rig 2 and 5 have spudded and are drilling ahead on the QU 452 and QU 148 wells respectively.

In addition, the heavy Rig 8 is ready on location following well clean out activities and will drill the MD 248 side track well once formal approvals are received.

Rig 6 is being prepared for mobilisation to the field with plans to drill and deepen up to 8 existing wells to test for bypassed primary oil reserves. Additionally, the rig will test old wells for possible candidates to be used in the waterflood project.

Rig 1 is currently proceeding through a rig maintenance program with completion expected in the first quarter.

Range had during the quarter received Certificate of Environmental Clearance approvals from the regulatory authorities covering 40 wells, 8 well deepenings and the start of the enhanced recovery waterflood program.

This allows for final project plans for the development and deepening of the designated wells and EOR program to be submitted to the regulatory authorities for final formal approval.

As part of this, Range is preparing to commence field development with surface equipment and facility installation work at Morne Diablo after receiving final approval for the waterflood program.

The waterflood program is targeted to add between 3,000 and 3,500 barrels per day (bpd) of oil to its production for at least eight years.

Other Trinidad

Range has also received regulatory approval from the Trinidad government for its farm-in agreement with Niko to earn a 50% interest in the 280,000 acre Guayaguayare Block.

This gives access to onshore and offshore acreage that have excellent synergies with its existing three blocks and best case Prospective Resources of 133 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMboe).

Guayaguayare contains both shallow and deep oil‐producing horizons including the highly prospective Cretaceous section that is believed to be the source rock for Trinidad's prolific onshore petroleum system.

It also hosts shallow drilling targets with significant exploration potential and an expansive area within a highly prolific petroleum system. Several high‐impact prospects have already been identified

Separately, Range has submitted a bid for the St Mary' Block as part of the 2013 onshore bid round. The bid round selection is expected to be announced by the Ministry of Energy of Trinidad to the public during the first quarter of 2014.


In Guatemala, operator Latin American Resources has spudded the Atzam-5 development well that could increase oil production.

Atzam-5 targets the C18 and C19 carbonate reservoirs that produced strong oil shows in the producing Atzam-4 but were unable to be flow tested. It will also intersect the current producing C17 carbonate reservoir.

It will be drilled to a total depth of about 4,100 feet. Operator Latin American Resources, which is 60% owned by Citation, expects this to take about 40 days.

Range has a direct and indirect 32% interest in the Guatemalan Project including a 19.9% interest in Citation and a 20% stake in LAR.


During the quarter, Range and Operator, Strait Oil & Gas UK (Strait) finalised a program for the development of Blocks VIa and VIb after the completion of an extensive data review.

Agreement has been reached with the State Agency for the Regulation of Oil and Gas for the timetable of the drilling campaign with the final work program passed by the Coordination Committee of the National Oil Corporation.

This will involve the tender for drilling rigs as well as the procurement of all associated well services and equipment.

Initial targets will be for oil and gas but it is anticipated that it will be necessary to hydraulically fracture the structures which lie in the Upper Bathonian section.

The operator also advised they will be determining the coal seam gas potential of the reservoir. The drill program has necessitated a revision of the PSA extending the drilling timetable into 2015.

As previously announced, the joint venture continues to advance discussions with potential farm‐in partners and buy out parties. In the meantime the JV remains committed to progressing and meeting the commitments on the licenses.

Colombia and Puntland

Range has received farm-in interest from a number of parties with respect to its Colombian interest.

The company also advised that Puntland partner Horn Petroleum (TSXV: HRN) has outlined a number of key initiatives with some preliminary work expected to commence in early 2014.

This work will include field research and reconnaissance across both sites, face‐to‐face liaison with key stakeholders and updated security assessments of both blocks (and potential drilling sites).

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