Matra Petroleum (LON:MTA) , the oil and gas exploration and production company operating in Russia, said this morning that production was under way from both of its existing wells in the Sokolovskoe field. While news of oil sales marks a new development for the company, it is clear that the protracted effort to fix numerous technical problems with wells 12 and 13 has not been fully resolved. The Matra Petroleum share price fell by 3.6% to 3.3p during early trading.

Matra said that neither well had yet stabilised and, as expected, both will require acid stimulation and/or pump installation to maximise production rates. Well-13 is currently producing approximately 65 barrels of oil per day (bopd) and well-12 approximately 100-150 bopd, although both well rates are fluctuating significantly and have not yet unloaded residual mud and completion fluids from the wellbore. In total over 2,000 barrels of oil have been produced from the wells and oil sales are being made on a regular basis.

Attempts to stabilise flow rates are being made before conducting the pressure surveys which Matra said would enable it to estimate the capability of the wells after acidisation and/or pump installation. The company noted that neither well had yet produced any formation water. Earlier attempts to bring both wells onto production had been dogged by water influx problems.

Pressure surveys and analysis will take place during the next two weeks and a plan to maximise production rates will follow. Matra said that the weather in Orenburg had also caused some disruption, with late heavy snowfalls delaying demobilisation of the side-track rig from well-12 and the impending thaw expected to slow things down even further during April.

Peter Hind, Matra’s managing director, said: “Well-12 side-track is producing at broadly similar rates to the original hole prior to acidising and the data from forthcoming pressure surveys should allow us to confirm the potential to improve production substantially. Whilst it is not possible to comment on ultimate production rates at this stage, the original well demonstrated an eight-to-ten fold improvement after acid. It is encouraging that the water appears to have been isolated, by remedial cementation, in well-13 and it was anticipated that this procedure would also damage the oil reservoir. Pressure data acquisition will again allow us to estimate likely rate improvements. We are currently planning…

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