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Cooper Energy has lifted its estimate of contingent resources at the Hammamet West oil field offshore Tunisia by 37 per cent. This follows interpretation of high resolution 3D seismic, which has encouraged the partners to pursue further appraisal work.

The reserves upgrade is due mainly to an increase in the size of the Abiod formation structure. It now stands at 67 MMbbl (P50), compared to the previous estimate of 49 MMbbl. Cooper splits this estimate between the Birsa sandstone reservoir and the Abiod carbonate formation, with 10 MMbbl assumed to be recoverable from the Birsa and 57 MMbbl from the Abiod.

The Bargou joint venture partnership of Cooper and Jacka Resources plan further processing of the 3D seismic to assist imaging of the Abiod carbonate formation, and to complete the design of a Hammamet West horizontal well to test the production capacity of the Abiod.

They aim to drill during summer 2011, subject to rig availability.

Cooper’s Managing Director Michael Scott said: "The horizontal well is being planned to test the production capacity of the Abiod reservoir. If the test is successful it will provide critical reservoir information that will be used to optimize the field development plan.”