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Sibneft Spuds First Horizontal Well Under Pride Forasol Contract

Moscow, 18 December 2001; Pride Forasol has spudded the first well under its $60 million drilling contract with Sibneft, marking the start of the most ambitious horizontal drilling programme ever undertaken in Russia.

Well number 2445 is expected to have a total length of 4.3 kilometres, with a horizontal section of over one kilometre in length reaching to a depth of 2,945 metres. The well is being drilled in the central section of the giant Sugmut field, which harbors reserves of close to a billion barrels.

Pride Forasol, a unit of leading drilling contractor Pride International, is due to drill a total of eight wells under the programme, employing a drilling rig with the largest capacity of any used at an onshore field in Russia. Schlumberger has been subcontracted to provide cementing and logging services, while Halliburton is providing directional drilling and drilling mud preparation services.

France's Institut Franзais du Pйtrole assisted in designing the drilling programme, which was constructed with the help of a hydrodynamic model created by Sibneft's Inpetro unit. The contract with Pride Forasol is supported by a financial guarantee from French export credit agency Coface.