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Range Resources Targeting Higher Oil Production At Morne Diablo

Range Resources (ASX: RRS) is increasingly enthusiastic about its prospects in Trinidad with the success of its ongoing development program at Morne Diablo.

This is highlighted by the MD 248 and QUN 135 wells that are approaching target depth and have the potential to increase current oil production rates by a total of up to 600 barrels per day (bpd).

Shallow wells targeting the Lower Forest formation have also exceeded forecast targets with initial production rates averaging about 60bpd of oil.

Deep Drilling

Range is currently drilling the MD 248 and QUN 135 wells towards the Lower and Middle Cruse targets respectively.

Based on historical production rates seen in the Middle Cruse Formation, the Lower Cruse Formation is also expected to yield similar initial production rates of 200bpd to 300bpd of oil.

While the previous MD 19 well encountered well‐developed Lower Cruse that were structurally low and water‐saturated at that location, MD 248 targets the Formation at an updip location where oil is expected to be trapped.

Upon completion of MD248, Rig 8 will drill the first of a series of wells that will test the prolific deep Herrera formation as a primary exploration target, with the Forest and Cruse formations as secondary objectives.

QUN 135 is currently drilling ahead at a depth of 2,300 feet to a total depth of 3,500 feet to test the Middle Cruse formation below the current Lower Forest development area.

Based on historical production rates seen from the Middle Cruse formation, a successful well at this location could have initial production rates of 200bpd to 300bpd.

Lower Forest

Range continues to develop the Lower Forest formation on its Morne Diablo license with shallower capacity rigs and has drilled and completed five new wells during the current quarter, with another three drilling ahead.

Wells from the ongoing development program are exceeding initial expectations in terms of average well performance and initial production rates, offsetting recent operational delays which have caused slippage in the drilling timetable.

The company continues to refurbish and upgrade its drilling rigs to improve their performance and reduce downtime while its Trinidad operations team continues to add drilling and completion personnel required to support the ongoing development programs.

Of the recent wells, two were drilled to test the southern limit of the Forest Formation productive trend and encountered thin Lower Forest sands, allowing Range to define the southern extremity of the Lower Forest trend.

Both wells retain the potential to be side tracked back into the main productive area within the Lower Forest trend.

The QUN 137 well was completed and also encountered the Lower Forest formation with initial production rates of 100bpd of oil while QUN 138 is expected to yield better than average production rates after intersecting a highly resistive feet zone at a depth of between 770 feet and 810 feet within a broader 100 feet of net oil sands.

Range is also preparing to drill the QUN 139 well to a total depth of 1,000 feet to test the Lower Forest.

Beach Marcelle field update

The Environmental Impact Assessment (NYSEMKT:EIA) on the Beach Marcelle water flood project is nearing completion after which it will be submitted to the Environmental Authorities for review. The Authorities have 2 to 3 months for review and will then grant the approvals if satisfied.

Once approved, Range will make its applications for both development drilling and the water flood project to the Ministry and Petrotrin for their individual approvals. Once all permits and approvals are in place, Range will commence development, currently forecast for mid‐2013.

Beach Marcelle is designed to recover the remaining secondary recovery oil - estimated at 12.8 million barrels of oil - left behind by previous water flood schemes in the 1960s.

Morne Diablo Waterflood

The expanded Morne Diablo waterflood program is currently in the reservoir simulation phase, with completion expected early in the first quarter of 2013, and application for approval to follow, with development forecast to commence mid‐2013.


Range is also entering into the final phase of negotiations regarding the sale of its North Chapman Ranch and East Texas Cotton Valley assets in Texas.

It is currently negotiating an agreement for a cash/royalty transaction in line with the previously announced price range of between US$20m and US$40m.

This is expected to be completed in January 2013.

Looking ahead

Range has successfully drilled 21 wells in its Morne Diablo licence and expects to start an extensive development program targeting the deeper Lower Cruse and Middle Cruse formations should the MD 248 and QUN 135 wells be successful.

Drilling activity is also expected to increase across the board with additional crews being recruited and trained to expedite the addition of Range's remaining two drilling rigs.

All six rigs are expected to be active within the first quarter of 2013.

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