Pipedream pursued

ERIC Streitberg is relentlessly pursuing his pipedream of expanding considerably oil and gas output in the Dongara production licence area near the coastal town of Dongara.

Commenting on the launching of its current three-well, $4.8 million drilling programme in the area, the Arc Energy managing director told Business News the three prospects in the L1 and L2 licence areas are considered to be geologically independent and represent the “highest potential” for a discovery of hydrocarbons.

“A success in drilling any of the prospects could lead to additional drilling on similar prospects,” he said.

“The two licence areas lie in a gas and oil prone area that contains the largest onshore gas and oil field found so far in Western Australia, and several other smaller oil and gas fields.

“Exploration prospects can therefore be considered to be relatively low risk from the point of view of gas and oil migration and charging of traps,” he said.

The prospects also lie in close proximity to the Dongara and Mondarra fields, the Dampier-to-Bunbury natural gas pipeline and the Parmelia pipeline. This is rated as a significant economic advantage to assist in early commercialisation of any gas or oil discoveries.

In the current exploration programme, the Hakia-1 well spudded on 20 November and is targeting a potential

25 billion cubic feet of gas at the level of the Dongara Sandstones some 3.5 kilometres east of the Yardarino field.

Dongara-29 – in joint venture with AMSOL – was due to spud on 12 December, targeting the Dongara oil leg.Nutsyia-1 will spud on 4 January,

targeting 40bcf of gas in a structural closure updip from the Mondarra-2 well, which produced 1.7bcf of gas with no water from a thin sandstone bed within the Wagina formation.

To date, forty-six wells have been drilled in the company’s licence areas. Of these, seventeen were wildcats, and discovered four hydrocarbon accumulations at Dongara, Mondarra, Yardar-ino and Elegans. The remainder were development and appraisal wells on the Dongara Field.

Exploration in adjacent permits has resulted in several hydrocarbon discoveries, including the Woodada, Mt Horner and Beharra Springs fields.

Recent mapping of the seismic data, including 3D survey over the Dongara field, identified six undrilled dip closures within the Jurassic section which are prospective for oil, and sixteen structural closures within the Permian and Triassic section which are prospective for gas.

The year has not been without its challenges for Arc Energy.

The delay in achieving gas sales targets and the lower than expected gas sales prices resulted in the company’s profits falling below projections.

However, the company’s hard-fought gas marketing campaign was successful with the signing of three new contracts during the year.

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