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Well headed

DESPITE the excitement over the recent WA-286P Cliff Head oil find, 5 per cent stakeholder Norwest Energy is maintaining its strategic head.

The local junior explorer has negotiated a 10 per cent interest in neighbouring permit TP/15. Drilling in this area, between the Cliff Head oil field and the

Dongara coast, is expected to commence this year.

The move reinforces Norwest’s strategy of acquiring small interests in highly prospective plots, ahead of any discoveries, spreading company risks over a number of regions and ventures.

Despite some significant disappointments, Norwest has now seen success with seven from eight wells in which it has participated in the past eighteen months.

And while new wells are planned for this year in Norwest interests much further north, the Cliff Head appraisal well will probably be the most keenly awaited 2002 outcome.

The field, close to two onshore pipelines heading south, is predicted to deliver 50 million barrels of recoverable oil and a satellite structure just to the north, also in WA-286P, is thought to contain a further 30 million barrels.

Three other features in the shallow water permit, for which no good quality seismic data was available prior to 1999, are considered promising.

Production may yet be three years away and decisions like whether to pipe the oil to shore and then truck it to perhaps, Kwinana, or whether to send it further offshore for tanker pick-up, will be some time in the making.

Nonetheless, primary production over a possible five years will produce significant cash-flow for Norwest, which is not anticipating any trouble with environmental or other regulatory approvals even though the field is in rock lobster territory.

Norwest’s WA-286 partner Australian Worldwide Exploration (27.5 %) is the operator of TP/15.

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