Drillsearch Energy Limited on Thursday announced the planned drilling of five exploration wells in PEL 91 in the Cooper Basin Western Flank Oil Fairway in South Australia commencing in late January-early February 2011. PEL 91 is jointly owned by Drillsearch (60%) and Beach Energy Limited (ASX:BPT) (PINK:BEPTF) (40% - operator).
Beach as the operator of the joint venture has advised that it has now secured 2 drilling rigs to support the drilling program. Beach has secured a firm contract with Ensign International for the Ensign #18 drilling rig and has also secured a firm option on the Ensign #30 drilling rig. Either of these two drilling rigs will be available for the PEL 91 five well drilling campaign.
Over the five prospects, the drilling program will target mean prospective recoverable resources of 3.5 mmbbls with a high side potential of up to 7.3 mmbbls prospective recoverable oil resource.
All of the prospects are within the Modiolus 3D Seismic Survey and within 1-2 km of the Chiton Oil Field. The exploration drilling is targeting potential shallow oil pools within the Namur Sandstone, Birkhead Formation Channels, Hutton Sandstone and the Poolowanna Formation - all proven oil plays within the Western flank Oil Fairway.
Managing Director Brad Lingo said "This is an extremely exciting oil exploration program for Drillsearch and we see it as incredible way to start off a very exciting new year for the company. We have lots of exploration and development activity planned and kicking of this long awaited drilling program in the Western Flank Oil Fairway is absolutely the right way to start off"
Managing Director Brad Lingo continued "A discovery in any of these prospects would add significantly to Drillsearch's reserves and overall production. All of these prospects are in close proximity to the Chiton Oil Field and because of their close proximity to the existing Chiton infrastructure, any discovery could be commercialized quickly and provide immediate cash flow to the company."
"The top three prospects in the drilling program are estimated to have very high chances of exploration success with each sitting at approximately the 50% level. Success in any one of the prospects would have a very material impact on the company. We are looking to deliver significant results out of this program that will drive Drillsearch's growth in the near term." Lingo continued.
Drillsearch Energy Limited explores and develops conventional oil and gas projects. Drillsearch has a strategic spread of petroleum exploration and production acreage in Australia's most prolific onshore oil and gas province, the Cooper/ Eromanga Basins in South Australia and Queensland. The company's focus is on 'brownfields' exploration where geological risk is reduced and there is access to existing infrastructure, ensuring that any discoveries can be brought into production. The company also has offshore exploration interests in the Gippsland Basin and in PNG as well as oil & gas production interests in Canada.
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