THE disappointment following the discovery of a dry offshore oil exploration well near Dongara this week shows how perceptions of the Perth Basin have changed, according to Roc Oil chief executive officer John Doran.
An initial well drilled on the Twin Lions prospect, which is on trend with last year’s Cliff Head oil discovery, turned up dry ahead of initial drilling of a number of other prospects identified along the same trend.
Mr Doran said people had historically expected Perth Basin exploration wells to be dry more often than not, but expectations had changed with the discovery of three new regional oil fields in the past 15 months.
A third Cliff Head well in WA 286P recently delivered a pleasing production test flow, so the subsequent drilling of the nearby Twin Lions-1 in TP/15 was particularly disappointing to the market.
Several more nearby wells will be drilled in the next three months, however, with Mentelle-1 on the go this week.
The Mentelle prospect is in the same permit as the Cliff Head find. Nonetheless Mr Doran sounded another warning.
“Despite its proximity to Cliff Head, Mentelle has a genuine exploration risk associated with it,” he said.
Vindara, another prospect on trend with Cliff Head, and straddling WA 286P and TP/15, will be drilled soon after Mentelle.
A fourth Cliff Head well is also on the cards.
The order of these has not yet been determined, and Mr Doran would not comment on the previously described “contingent” drilling of the Moondah prospect, within TP/15.
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