La Cortez Energy Announces the Start of Drilling Operations for the Mirto-1 Welladmin
La Cortez Energy, Inc. an early stage oil and gas exploration and production company currently pursuing a business strategy in the energy sector in South America announce that Emerald Energy Plc., the operator of the Maranta Block where La Cortez will hold a 20% working interest, has begun drilling operations for the Mirto 1 exploratory well.
The Mirto 1 well will be drilled to an estimated target depth of 11,500 ft in order to test both the Villeta and Caballos formations, both of which are prolific hydrocarbon producers in the Putumayo basin. Mirto 1 will target the structural top of the Mirto prospect. Civil works and environmental permitting in preparation for the well are now complete.
The Maranta block covers an extension of 36,608 hectares in the foreland of the Putumayo Basin in Southwest Colombia and was signed with the ANH on September 12th, 2006. Emerald completed the first phase exploratory program by reprocessing 40 Km of 2D seismic and shooting 71 Km of new 2D seismic, identifying several promising leads. The Maranta block is adjacent to the recent 20 million barrel proven discovery of the Costayaco field made by Gran Tierra Energy, Inc. (“Gran Tierra”) (AMEX: GTE). Once La Cortez has fully fulfilled its obligations for the completion of the Mirto 1 well, Emerald will file a request with the Agencia Nacional de Hidrocarburos (“ANH”), Colombia’s hydrocarbon regulatory agency, for an assignment of a 20% working interest in the Maranta block to La Cortez and will assist La Cortez in obtaining its working interest through reasonable means.
Andres Gutierrez, President and CEO of La Cortez commented on the announcement, “We are very pleased to announce the initiation of drilling operations in the Mirto prospect. We hope the well validates our analysis of a significant geological structure. We are pleased to be partnering with Emerald on this prospect. Emerald has been highly successful in its recent exploration efforts in Colombia and is a world-class operator capable of managing high operating standards while attaining low costs. We remain attentive to other opportunities in a variety of basins in Colombia and in Peru that we believe have opportunities to allow La Cortez to build our production base and benefit from upside exploration.”