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High hopes for Cliff Head as summer program looms

WHILE Hovea has claimed the trophy for the first Perth Basin commercial oil discovery since 1966, the wells attracting most interest at the beginning of the summer program are those designed to appraise the Cliff Head find and explore surrounding prospects.

In October, reserves for Cliff Head were upgraded to the point of being considered commercially viable for development, and results from up to eight appraisal and exploration wells in the area are keenly awaited.

The Cliff Head trend is entirely contained within WA 286P. However, the permit also contains part of the potential 360 million-barrels-in-place Twin Lions prospect. This prospect straddles WA 286P and another permit, TP/15.

Success with Cliff Head-3 and a possible appraisal well, Cliff Head-4, means a stand-alone development is viable, but a favourable result with Twin Lions-1 in TP/15, and a possible follow-up Twin Lions-2 in WA 286P, will significantly boost the region’s commerciality.

However much of the excitement also comes from plans to drill the Mentelle prospect within WA 286P and contingent plans to drill Moondah, within TP/15, and another shared prospect, Vindara.

In place, figures for the three firm wells total 500 million barrels, the contingent wells boosting this to 725 million.

Cashed up and trading at around $1.42, six-year old Roc Oil, the operator of both permits, stands to win significantly.

Also in both WA 286P and TP/15 are Australian Worldwide Exploration (27.5 per cent and 25 per cent respectively), Arc Energy (7.5 per cent and 5 per cent), Norwest Energy (5 per cent and 10 per cent) and Voyager Energy (5 per cent each).

Wandoo Petroleum (part of Mitsui), has a 25 per cent stake in WA 286P, and Hardman Resources and Bounty Oil & Gas hold 30 per cent and 5 per cent respectively in TP/15.

Onshore, Hardman and Bounty are planning to drill the Leafcutter, in February, on the Woodada production licence, while Arc and Origin are planning the Eremia-1 in L1, adjacent to the Jingemia find.

The Woodada field is producing gas but Hardman and Bounty are hoping for commercial oil from Leafcutter.

Talks already have begun on transport implications if further Perth Basin oil prospects are proven commercial this summer.

Currently, Arc and Origin transport Hovea oil by road tanker to Kwinana at around $3 per barrel, but should the region be producing significant oil within two or three years, informal discussions have begun on regional processing, rail and port facilities.

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