US Oil & Gas PLC (USOP) told investors that groundworks are now complete for the Eblana-9 well at the Hot Creek Valley project in Nevada.

An access road is complete and the well pad has been constructed, the group said, a rig has been mobilised to site and the well will spud soon.

The company noted additionally that a ‘permit to drill’ now been awarded by the Nevada Division of Minerals and a rig contract has been signed.

As well as rig contractor, Capstar Drilling, the company has also hired Baker Hughes for wellhead and surface control equipment, and Weatherford International will conduct the open-hole well logging.

US Oil & Gas said that rig up, testing and safety checks are expected to be completed by 6:00 am (PST) today. Spudding of the Eblana-9 well will take place shortly thereafter, it added.

Eblana-9 will target a highly prospective formation on the East Prospect, US Oil & Gas noted. It is intended to have a 5,300 foot target depth. The drilling is predicted to run for eight days, with the full programme expected to last 13 days.

“Our planned drilling and testing programme is the result of many months of careful preparation by our technical team,” said Brian McDonnell, US Oil & Gas chief executive in a statement. The aim is to ensure we collect downhole data of the highest quality and with maximum efficiency, so we can make the right decisions about the potential of the well and the next steps to take.”

McDonnell added: “This is an exciting time for everyone involved – shareholders, the technical team and the board. As I’ve said before, the drill bit will decide, but we believe we are fully justified in having high hopes for a commercial well.”

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