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Exploration Program Will Follow New 3-D

State-of-the-art Seismic Acquisition

State-of-the-art seismic acquisition, processing and interpretation techniques continue to be keys that unlock the treasure for Forest Oil in South Africa.

Forest recently shot a 712-square-kilometer 3-D survey offsetting its original 3-D coverage there. The firm is going through much of the same process with the new data and will follow up with an exploration drilling campaign, according to Forest's international chief geophysicist, Tim Berge.

"We are planning on applying for a mining license that will include the footprint of the two 3-D surveys and a little padding around them, which will include the Ibhubesi Field development," Berge said.

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State-of-the-art seismic acquisition, processing and interpretation techniques continue to be keys that unlock the treasure for Forest Oil in South Africa.

Forest recently shot a 712-square-kilometer 3-D survey offsetting its original 3-D coverage there. The firm is going through much of the same process with the new data and will follow up with an exploration drilling campaign, according to Forest's international chief geophysicist, Tim Berge.

"We are planning on applying for a mining license that will include the footprint of the two 3-D surveys and a little padding around them, which will include the Ibhubesi Field development," Berge said.

"This field is by no means defined — when we go back and map our 2-D dataset we see quite a number of anomalies throughout the Orange River Delta," he said.

The company thinks this is a large regional stratigraphic accumulation, and every one of these little meanders could be considered its own field.

"We think there is potential for an eventual upside of 48 trillion cubic feet of gas in the entire delta off South Africa and Namibia in the Albian-Aptian and Kudu formations, and in a deepwater structural play," he said.

On the Namibia side of the delta there is a large field discovered years ago by Shell that's been a stranded gas resource for some time. The field's estimated reserves of 1.2 trillion cubic feet of gas from the Kudu Formation is a strong indication of the Kudu's productive potential, according to Berge.

In addition, Forest has already shot a 1,000-square-kilometer deepwater 3-D survey that covers a big structural lead at the shelf-slope break.

"We can see big growth faults in great rollover structures," Berge said. "This region is still in the prospect stage — it's an entirely different play."

Forest has 32,000 square kilometers in two blocks in a basin that has been virtually unexplored with a documented hydrocarbon system and multiple plays in multiple reservoirs.

The firm currently is working hard to develop a market for its gas; with exploration finding costs of about 3.8 cents per thousand cubic feet of reserves, Forest's Orange Basin acreage will be increasingly important to the company.

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