Alpine owns and operates the Svidnik, Medzilaborce, Snina and Pakostov petroleum exploration licences, situated in the Carpathian region of north-eastern Slovakia. Alpine has been working on the licences since 2006. JKX Oil & Gas plc, listed on the London Stock Exchange, holds a 25% interest in each of the four licences and the Romanian state-owned oil company Romgaz SA holds a 25% interest in each of the licences save Pakostov.
The presence of hydrocarbons on Alpine’s licences is well demonstrated by the many natural surface seeps of oil and gas, and shows encountered while drilling. Only 30 or so wells have been drilled on or near Alpine’s licences. 15 of these wells were drilled in one producing field, Mikova, which produced an estimated 1.6 million barrels of oil over the period from 1911 to 1950. Most of the remaining wells drilled on or near the Alpine licences encountered oil and/or gas, one of them resulting in a blow-out. There is also one undeveloped gas discovery on the licences.
Activities to Date; Planned Wells
Since 2006, Alpine has acquired, processed and interpreted some 770 km of 2D seismic, in addition to conducting other geophysical surveys. This work has enabled the identification of numerous shallow, conventional targets. Alpine continues to re-process its existing data and also plans, following completion of an initial exploration well program, to acquire one or more 3D seismic surveys.
Alpine has selected three locations for an initial shallow well program, one on each of the Svidnik, Medzilaborce and Snina concessions. The wells are targeting both oil and gas, at depths of 1100 to 1500 metres. Alpine expects that each well will take up to 14 days to drill and that, including location construction, operations on each location will last approximately two months. A smaller rig may be brought in at a later date for specific, short-term tasks.
Development and Reinstatement
If a well is successful, it is likely that Alpine will plan additional wells in order to develop the discovery while always seeking, in consultation with local stakeholders, to minimise the surface impact, for example by drilling more than one well from a single well location. Following the conclusion of all oilfield operations at a well location, the location will be reinstated to its original condition and re-cultivated, so that there will be almost no sign that operations were ever conducted there.