FEBRUARY and March are shaping up as the most active two months in the recent history of the Perth Basin.
Nine companies in several joint ventures are planning or have already commenced further exploration, appraisal and production.
Anticipation is high, with long awaited answers expected from the offshore program, and pro-duction and reserves forecast to be significantly upgraded on-shore.
Arc Energy is one of the most active local companies in the basin this month and next.
Depending on various schedules, Arc could be party to the discovery of up to five new oil fields between now and April.
With sole partner Origin Energy, Arc commenced pro-duction this week from the onshore Hovea 4 oil well.
Hovea 5 is already under way and total permanent production from the field is expected to reach 5,000 barrels per day by the end of the month.
The instalment of permanent production facilities will be completed by mid-month, trans-forming the field from a greenfields operation last October to a full-working facility.
Arc is keen to follow its Hovea success with the exploration well Eremia-1, to the west of Hovea.
Eremia, similar in structure to the onshore Jingemia and Hovea fields, has the potential to be another 10-million-barrel oil field, and to significantly boost views of the Perth Basin’s potential.
In the meantime, however, Arc is involved in the nearby offshore Cliff Head and Twin Lions drilling within the two adjacent offshore permits.
Results from Twin Lions 1 could be in on the weekend, and if these are positive, Twin Lions 2 is expected to go ahead this month.
Twin Lions is by far the largest of the offshore prospects, while Cliff Head 3 last week produced a 3,000-barrel/day production test flow after confirming the continuity of that field over three kilometres.
Arc will also be in on the drilling of the Mentelle prospect between Twin Lions and Cliff Head, the Moondah prospect north of Twin Lions, and Vindara south of Cliff Head.
Understandably, Arc man-aging director Eric Streitberg reconfirmed this week his belief that Arc held one of the best spreads of territory in the region.
And with another well needed to confirm volumes in Cliff Head ahead of commercial
production decisions, Mr Streitberg’s plans for holidays maybe sometime in March have been pushed back to at least April.
With 30 per cent, Hardman Resources is the largest stake-holder in TP/15, containing Moondah and some of Twin Lions.
But Hardman also has an enviable stake in onshore oil finds and prospects.
The company has 22 per cent equity in last year’s onshore oil discovery, the 5-million barrel (recoverable estimate) Jingemia field.
However, within its 75 per cent onshore Woodada gas field production licence, Hardman is preparing to commence exploration of an oil prospect, starting with Leafcutter 1 this month.
One of the smallest, but most active, companies in the pro-gram is Voyager Energy.
Long-time Perth Basin enthusiast and Voyager managing director John Begg has made sure his company is part of as much as possible of the best action.
Voyager holds interests in TP/15, WA 286P (containing Cliff Head, part of Twin Lions, Mentelle and Vindara), and Jingemia.
With joint venture partners including Origin (operator), Hardman and Australian World-wide Exploration, Voyager is hoping to commence extended production testing on Jingemia 1 by the end of the month.
During a 10-day test in December last year, Jingemia 1 produced an average of 1,850 barrels of oil per day, peaking at 2,050 barrels.
John Doran, chief executive officer of Roc Oil (operator of both TP/15 and WA 286P), said a good quality reservoir with oil would be great news from Twin Lions 1 this weekend.
“But we must be realistic that a lot of exploration wells are dry,” he said.
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