* Find light oil, sweeter gas than expected
* Plan drilling more wells to determine capacity
TIRANA Nov 7 Royal Dutch Shell and
Petromanas Energy Inc plan to drill more wells at an
Albanian site to determine its production capacity after test
flows from the first well found good quality oil and gas, a
Petromanas official said.
If successful, the find could be the first major discovery
in the impoverished Adriatic country since it toppled communism
in 1990 and opened up exploration to oil majors.
Petromanas, a small Canadian company, partnered with Shell
to drill the first well at Shpirag in southern Albania just half
a mile from the spot where Occidental found very little
oil in 2001. It has a 25 percent stake, while Shell controls the
"The positive news is clearly that there is a reservoir
there, and it is productive. It is a good quality light oil,"
Peter Sider, Petromanas' vice president for engineering
operations and business development, told Reuters on Thursday.
Albanian crude is usually heavy and highly sulphurous.
"The other positive is that the associated gas is sweeter
than we expected," Sider added.
"During the extended test, the Shpirag-2 well flowed at
rates of 800 to 1,300 barrels per day (bpd) of 35 to 37 degree
API oil and 2 to 5 mmcfd of gas," Petromanas and Shell said.
Petromanas, the operator, drilled Shpirag-2 to a total depth
of 5,553 metres.
"The results of the Shpirag-2 well are encouraging and
support the potential of this oil play in Albania," said Edwin
Verdonk, Shell vice president for Europe exploration.
Sider said the operators will be pulling pressure recorders
from the hole in 30 days to get an idea of the reservoir's size.
"It keeps us enthused to go on with the appraisal programme,
but it will take a year or two determine whether we have a
commercial project or not," Sider added.