THE next two weeks have become even more significant for offshore Perth Basin explorers after a well drilled to appraise the Cliff Head oil field near Dongara flowed at a better rate than expected during testing.
Earlier this week the maximum flow rate of Cliff Head-3 in WA 286-P was estimated at 3,000 barrels per day.
While decisions on commerciality remain a while away, the rate – achieved through an electrical submersible pump and reported as “constrained by surface facilities” – has further fired the enthusiasm of the joint venture partners.
Ivan Burgess, chief executive officer of local 10 per cent partner Norwest Energy, said such a result from a horizontal sidetrack of a vertical well meant production rates could be as high as a daily 10,000 barrels.
Operator Roc Oil’s chief executive, John Doran said the reservoir quality of this well appeared inferior to that of previous Cliff Head wells.
If this proved to be so, then quite significant volumes will be recoverable from the field in total, Mr Burgess commented.
Later this week, the Ensco 53 drill rig will spud the Twin Lions-1 exploration well on a neighbouring prospect in TP/15.
This prospect has already been estimated to contain 360 million barrels in place, whereas the top estimate for Cliff Head was put at 100 million.
“This is good for the industry generally,” Mr Burgess said.
“Investors will look at the industry more than they would have otherwise, and ultimately there will be more returns for shareholders.
“Everyone does well out of this.
“And how long has it been since there’s been a significant oil find by an all-Australian joint venture?”
Australian Worldwide Exploration managing director Bruce Phillips said the result was particularly pleasing, coming as it did on Australia Day.
All WA 286-P and TP/15 partners are hoping for significant benefit from this summer’s program, which includes three firm exploration and appraisal wells and several contingent wells.
Local partners in both WA 286-P and TP/15 are Arc Energy (7.5 per cent, 5 per cent), Norwest Energy (5 per cent, 10 per cent) and Voyager Energy (5 per cent, 5 per cent).
The other joint permit partners are Australian Worldwide Exploration (27.5 per cent, 25 per cent) and Roc Oil (30 per cent, 20 per cent – operator of both permits).
Mitsui Australian subsidiary Wandoo Petroleum is a 25 per cent partner in WA 286-P, while WA partners Hardman Oil & Gas and Bounty Oil & Gas hold 30 per cent and 5 per cent respectively in TP/15.
Leverage tables list local companies Norwest, Voyager and Bounty as those with the most to gain from WA 286-P and TP/15.
Last summer, the initial two Cliff Head wells revealed five metre and 36-metre oil columns respectively.
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