Melbana Energy initiates crucial testing at Alameda-3 well in Cuba amid previous setbacks

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By Colin Hay - 
Melbana Energy ASX MAY Alameda 3 flow testing

Australian oil and gas junior Melbana Energy (ASX: MAY) has commenced a key test program that it hopes will find answers to disappointing flow results at its onshore Alameda-3 appraisal well in Cuba.

Melbana is currently undertaking flow testing over the 3,272 to 3,450-metre interval in the well to determine oil quality and flow rates from the Alameda reservoir.

Alameda forms part of the Block 9 Production Sharing Contract, in which Melbana holds a 30% interest and Sonangol (the national oil company of Angola) the other 70%.

‘Unexpected’ flow result

Earlier this month, Melbana obtained “unexpected” results from a flow test of the lower Marti reservoir over the interval between 3,642m and 3,880m.

In that test, two unsuccessful attempts were made to flow the well, with oil not reaching the surface in both cases.

Executive chair Andrew Purcell said the new test of the Alameda reservoir will further aid the company’s overall understanding of the formations at depth, alongside ongoing analysis of well-appraisal drilling completed to date.

Different approach

The Alameda reservoir will be tested as a single zone with perforations covering the lower section, which is interpreted to contain the highest porosity and productivity interval as indicated by wireline logs in the drilling of the well.

Mr Purcell said the company is assessing whether emulsions formed between oil and drilling mud in the lower portion of the test string may have been a factor in the lower-than-expected performance of the Marti reservoir.

Accordingly, the company has incorporated those concerns into the design of the Alameda reservoir flow testing program.

Flow testing for that reservoir continuing to confirm the presence of high-value, lighter oil at depth in the Marti section provides optimism and oil samples obtained from that deep section have been sent to the lab for ongoing analysis and determination of a forward plan.