US lures Vic Pet

THE hydrocarbon prospective San Joaquin Basin in the United States continues to figure high on the exploration schedule of Victoria Petroleum NL, which holds a 63.3 per cent direct and indirect stake in the California hydrocarbon real estate.

VicPet and Kestrel Energy Inc, through their respective US subsidiaries, each have a 50 per cent interest in the petroleum exploration assets of the San Joaquin Basin project area, located in the central San Joaquin Basin, of California.

VicPet holds a 26.5 per cent interest in Kestrel Energy Inc, a US Nasdaq-listed company.

The petroleum exploration assets in the project area comprise petroleum leasehold exploration properties in the San Joaquin Basin and a database including about 25,000 kilometres of seismic and well data for 3,800 wells, both analog and digital, over the project area of 21,000 square kilometres.

Exploration in San Joaquin is now focused on structural plays adjacent to wells with oil and gas show or hydrocarbon recoveries.

VicPet managing director John Kopcheff said exploration plays of this type should have a reduced exploration risk compared to the higher risk stratigraphic plays drilled in the past twelve months.

“As part of this new exploration focus, the Kingfisher and Raven prospects have been geologically and geophysically defined to the drilling stage as attractive gas exploration targets,” he said.

The Kingfisher prospect is a seismically defined upthrown fault block prospect with rollover into the fault and an adjacent down dip well with strong oil shows. The prospect is considered to have the potential to contain gas and oil reserves up to a maximum of 75 billion cubic feet of gas and ten million barrels of oil, if gas and oil are present.

The Raven prospect is a seismically defined upthrown fault block prospect which is considered to have the potential to contain gas and oil reserves up to a maximum of 111bcf of gas and 2mmbo, if hydrocarbons are present.

Drilling of Kingfisher is planned to commence in October with Raven to follow in November 1999, subject to farmout.

“In the event of a successful farmout, VicPet plans to have a 10 to 20 per cent free-carried working interest in each of these prospects,” Mr Kopcheff said.

Ongoing geophysical and geological definition of several other major gas and oil prospects is in progress so that a drilling program of up to four wells over the next twelve months will take place in the San Joaquin project area, subject to rig and lease availability.

Mr Kopcheff considers the company has acquired a significant core position in the San Joaquin Basin which is highly prospective for oil and gas with eleven billion barrels of oil and ten trillion cubic feet of gas produced to date.

The US Geological Survey has estimated that the Basin has the potential to contain an additional 1.2 billion barrels of recoverable oil.

Entry into San Joaquin provides VicPet with an interest in an extensive geological and geophysical data base which provides a major opportunity to explore the Basin.

“Geophysical and geological interpretation of the extensive data base of seismic and well data indicates the presence of at least twelve prospects and leads, with a possible target size of up to 200 mmbo and 100 bcf of gas, if hydrocarbons are present,” he said.

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