Drilling program closer

WOODSIDE Petroleum Ltd and its joint venture partner British Borneo have completed a large 3D seismic survey over portions of tenements held by Hardman Resources NL offshore Mauritania, West Africa.

Initial data processing has now been completed and interpretation is in progress to select final drilling locations for a three-well farmin drilling program which is expected to commence in the first quarter 2001.

The cost of drilling the offshore wells has been estimated at about $20 million each.

During the past two years, Woodside has shot two large seismic surveys over the joint venture areas at a cost of about $40 million.

Interpretation of the 2D seismic data acquired during 1999 has resulted in the identification of 38 prospects with potential reserve estimates ranging from moderate to very large. A high priority target area was defined in the deep water portions of Blocks 3, 4, 5 and 6 and a total of 3580 square kilometres of 3D seismic was acquired over 22 of the prospects in the previous quarter.

Under the terms of the farmin agreements for areas A, B and C, Woodside and British-Borneo are required to fund 100 per cent of the initial exploration programs of technical studies; fund 8,500 line kilometres of new seismic acquisition; and commit to drilling an offshore well in each of the three JV areas, or withdraw from that venture, within a period of 18 months from the granting of the PSC licences.

At the completion of the drilling, Hardman will retain interests in areas A, B and C of 24.3 per cent, 21.6 per cent and 22.5 per cent respectively.

The 3D seismic data is now being processed and interpreted with final results expected to be available in the third quarter 2000, when a decision will be made on the final location of the wells.

Woodside and British-Borneo committed in December 1999 to drilling the first farmin well in the deep water part of either PSC Area A or B. Woodside has advised they are considering drilling all three farmin wells next year.


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