HAMILTON, Bermuda, June 19, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- TransAtlantic Petroleum Ltd. (TSX: TNP) (NYSE Amex:TAT) is pleased to announce the receipt of an exploration license in southeast Turkey and provide an operational update.
Award of West Molla Exploration License
TransAtlantic was recently granted a 61,561 acre (24,913 hectare) exploration license immediately offsetting the Company's existing Molla licenses. Inclusive of the new license, the Company now holds exploration and production licenses totaling approximately 160,000 contiguous net acres in southeastern Turkey (65,000 hectares), all of which is prospective for the Mardin, Bedinan and Dadas shale formations. The Company is planning to acquire 300 km of 2D seismic and drill an exploration well on the new license during the next 12 months, most likely to test the Bedinan formation.
TransAtlantic's 7-day average net production rate as of June 17, 2012 was approximately 4,436 net barrels of oil equivalent ("boe") per day, including approximately 11.3 million cubic feet ("MMcf") per day of natural gas and approximately 2,548 barrels ("bbls") of oil per day. The Company currently expects production during the second quarter to average approximately 4,500 boe per day. TransAtlantic has six operated rigs running; four in the Thrace Basin and two in southeastern Turkey.
Thrace Basin Activity
After a slow down in completion activity while the Viking frac crew completed and evaluated stimulations of the deep zones in the Pancarkoy-1 (100% working interest) and the Suleymaniye-2 (41.5% working interest) wells during April and May of 2012, the Company expects to frac five wells in the Thrace Basin during June 2012, including TransAtlantic's second multi-stage frac. The Guney Kayi-1 (41.5% working interest), a new drill well rather than a re-entry, is expected to be the Company's first multi-stage completion in the Tekirdag Field Area and the first three-stage completion in Turkey.
The Suleymaniye-2 well was a deep test of a new structure located northwest of the Tekirdag Field Area and was recently completed as the Company's first multi-stage, multi-zone facture stimulation in the Thrace Basin. Fracs were pumped into zones at depths of approximately 6,460 feet (1,970 meters) and 6,660 feet (2,030 meters). Of the two stages, to-date one has produced only water while the second stage has produced water and natural gas. The well is currently shut-in to evaluate shut-in pressures and potential installation of artificial lift.
Completion of the Baglik-1 well (41.5% working interest), the first deep test in the Tekirdag Field Area, is expected to occur late in the second quarter or early third quarter of 2012. TransAtlantic and its partners expect to evaluate the deeper sands and frac intervals that show natural gas prospectivity. Shallower intervals showed natural gas as expected. The second deep test in the Tekirdag Field Area, the Kayi Deep-1 (41.5% working interest) exploration well, is currently drilling ahead at 8,900 feet (2,714 meters). Completion of the Kayi Deep-1 is expected to occur during the third quarter of 2012. While four additional deep wells are expected to be drilled during 2012, the Company expects to attain sufficient information from the Pancarkoy-1, Suleymanyie-2, Baglik-1 and the Kayi Deep-1 wells to identify the optimum depth to drill and complete wells in the Terkirdag Field Area. This information will be used in the ongoing planning of a continuous development program in the area, with completion activity expected to increase during the third quarter of 2012. TransAtlantic and its partners plan to continue testing multi-stage, multi-zone completions, as well as begin testing the prospectivity of drilling and completing horizontally into certain zones and the off-structure (stratigraphic) potential of the blanket sands in the basin.
TransAtlantic and its partners recently completed the Kuzey Atakoy-2 exploration well (41.5% working interest) in a structure approximately 25 miles (40 kilometers) northwest of the Tekirdag Field Area. Peak 24 hour production was 3.9 MMcf of natural gas, and production has averaged 2.5 MMcf/d over the first 11 days of production. The Company plans to continue testing the structure and evaluate the area as a scalable field development similar to the activity planned for the Tekirdag Field Area.
Molla License Activity
TransAtlantic recently reached total depth of 10,522 feet (3,207 meters) and is currently logging the Bahar-1 (100% working interest) exploration well. During drilling, oil shows were encountered in the Hazro and Mardin formations and oil and natural gas were encountered in the Bedinan. Approximately 40 feet (12 meters) of core was taken from the Dadas shale formation which will be evaluated and compared to the Dadas core taken from the Goksu-1R (100% working interest) in late 2010, approximately seven miles (11 kilometers) south of the Bahar-1 surface location.
After testing the shows in the Bedinan, the Company expects to complete the Bahar-1 with a single-stage stimulation of the Dadas shale. Following an evaluation period, TransAtlantic expects to reenter the well and drill horizontally in the Dadas shale, representing the industry's first horizontal Dadas test. The completion of the Bahar-1 will either require waiting until the frac crew is mobilized in the nearby Selmo field sometime in the third quarter of 2012 or waiting for the delivery and in-service of Viking's second spread of fracture stimulation equipment, which is currently expected to arrive during the first quarter of 2013, subject to manufacturing, shipping and customs processing.
The Bulgarian Parliament recently amended its January 2012 legislation that was originally intended to ban fracture stimulation in the country but included language that also prevented conventional oil and natural gas activity from proceeding. The updated legislation allows conventional activity in the country to resume. TransAtlantic's holdings in Bulgaria include significant conventional oil and gas potential, including the Koynare Concession Area ("Koynare") which holds the Deventci-R1 discovery well and the Deventci-R2 exploration well. The Company expects to receive the Koynare production license during 2012, after which operating activity in the region is expected to resume.
TransAtlantic Petroleum Ltd. is an international energy company engaged in the acquisition, development, exploration and production of oil and natural gas. The Company holds interests in developed and undeveloped oil and gas properties in Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania.
The TransAtlantic Petroleum Ltd. logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=12745
(NO STOCK EXCHANGE, SECURITIES COMMISSION OR OTHER REGULATORY AUTHORITY HAS APPROVED OR DISAPPROVED THE INFORMATION CONTAINED HEREIN.)
Forward Looking Statements
This news release contains statements regarding TransAtlantic Petroleum's expected production, drilling and completion activity and testing in the Thrace Basin and southeastern Turkey, expected delivery of third party fracture stimulation equipment, expected receipt of a production license, as well as other expectations, plans, goals, objectives, assumptions or information about future events, conditions, results of operations or performance that may constitute forward-looking statements or information under applicable securities legislation. Such forward-looking statements or information are based on a number of assumptions, which may prove to be incorrect. In addition to other assumptions identified in this news release, assumptions have been made regarding, among other things, the ability of the Company to continue to develop and exploit attractive foreign initiatives.
Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements or information are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking statements because the Company can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. Forward-looking statements or information are based on current expectations, estimates and projections that involve a number of risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated by the Company and described in the forward-looking statements or information. These risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to the continuing ability of the Company to operate effectively internationally, reliance on current oil and gas laws, rules and regulations, volatility of oil and gas prices, fluctuations in currency and interest rates, imprecision of resource estimates, the results of exploration, development and drilling, imprecision in estimates of future production capacity, changes in environmental and other regulations or the interpretation of such regulations, the ability to obtain necessary regulatory approvals, weather and general economic and business conditions.
The forward-looking statements or information contained in this news release are made as of the date hereof and the Company undertakes no obligation to update publicly or revise any forward-looking statements or information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, unless so required by applicable securities laws.
CONTACT: Chad Potter, VP, Financial and Investor Relations Phone: (214) 220-4323 Internet: http://www.transatlanticpetroleum.com Address: 16803 Dallas Parkway, Suite 200 Addison, Texas 75001