La Cortez Energy, Inc. announce the following operational update: Emerald Energy Plc. , the operator of the Maranta Block where La Cortez will hold a 20% working interest, reached the intended total depth of 11,578 ft on the Mirto-1 exploration well, with oil and gas shows recorded across the four target reservoirs. Three of the four potentially hydrocarbon bearing intervals have been flow tested with one (the Villeta U sand interval) flowing at a material initial oil rate. The fourth interval (the Villeta N sand interval) is currently being tested.
The Caballos formation interval was flow tested with only formation water recovered at an average rate of 112 barrels per day. The Villeta T sand interval was also flow tested with an average oil rate of 8 barrels per day with a very high water production (water cut of 97%).
The Villeta U sand interval (encountered at a depth of 11,030 feet) produced an average oil rate of 731 barrels per day of 32.5o API crude over a 48 hour period with a low average water production (water cut of 26 %). An interval of 20 feet at the top of the sand was flow tested through a 128/64 inch choke, under artificial lift using a jet pump.
The Villeta N sand interval (encountered at 10,405 feet deep) is planned to be flow tested after the flow testing operations are completed on the Villeta U sand.
Once La Cortez has completed funding its portion of the completion and testing of Mirto-1, La Cortez will ask Emerald to file a request with the Agencia Nacional de Hidrocarburos (“ANH”), Colombia’s hydrocarbon regulatory agency, to have its 20% participation interest in Maranta officially assigned to La Cortez.
The Maranta block covers an extension of 36,608 hectares in the foreland of the Putumayo Basin in Southwest Colombia. Emerald’s contract for this block was signed with the ANH on September 12th, 2006. Emerald completed the first phase exploratory program by reprocessing 40 Km of 2D seismic and shooting 71 Km of new 2D seismic, identifying several promising leads. The Maranta block is adjacent to the recent 20 million barrel proven discovery of the Costayaco field made by Gran Tierra Energy, Inc. (AMEX: GTE).
Andres Gutierrez, President and CEO of La Cortez, commented on the announcement, “We are very pleased to announce the preliminary results of these tests conducted on the Mirto-1 well, especially the results over the Villeta U sand interval, and we continue to be optimistic about the Villeta N sand interval test results being currently conducted. Additionally, we remain attentive to other opportunities in a variety of basins in Colombia and in Peru that we believe have opportunities to allow La Cortez to build our production base and benefit from upside exploration.”