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FEG:Focus shifts to second Brunei exploration well

Press Release
Fletcher Challenge

STOCK EXCHANGE LISTINGS: NEW ZEALAND (FEG), AUSTRALIA (FLCES), NEW YORK (FEG).

Focus shifts to second Brunei exploration well after
first well abandoned

BRUNEI, Monday 15 May 2000 – Fletcher Challenge Energy has plugged and abandoned the Bendahara Selatan A-1 exploration well as drilling results have shown it to be a sub-commercial gas discovery.

“We are disappointed that this well is not commercial but the information gathered during drilling will significantly enhance our understanding of the region and greatly assist in further exploration efforts offshore Brunei. We will now be turning our attention to Laksamana Utara which is the second well in our campaign,” said Greig Gailey, Fletcher Challenge Energy Chief Executive.

Mr Gailey said another pleasing aspect of drilling Bendahara Selatan A-1 (BSA-1) was that it was completed within budget and ahead of schedule despite some operational complications. The original hole was drilled to a total depth of 4034m. Operational complications resulted in the well being side-tracked from a depth of 2260m to a total depth of 3805m.

“Our experience with BSA-1 has demonstrated the cost-saving potential for the well designs and procedures of our partners Unocal. We will incorporate this learning into the balance of the programme as it had the potential to improve future exploration and development economics in the Brunei basin,” he said.

Preliminary analysis suggests that BSA-1 encountered approximately 40 metres of gas bearing sand within the shallower pleistocene target interval. The primary and secondary pliocene target level sands are also interpreted to be gas bearing although reservoir quality and thickness, recognised before drilling as the critical risk, was limited.

Later this week Fletcher Challenge Energy will begin drilling the second well in its offshore Brunei drilling campaign. A drilling rig is expected to arrive at the Laksamana Utara well location in Block CD by Thursday May 18.

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