Octanex Updates Western Australia Exploration Activity

Australia-based Santos Ltd. has entered an agreement for Ensco jackup Ensco 109 (350' ILC) to drill the farm-in obligation well in the Winchester prospect in permit area WA-323-P, Octanex N.L. reported Wednesday.

Drilling is expected to take place during this year's third quarter. The exact location of the well has not been determined.

During the fourth quarter, Santos acquired approximately 277 square miles (720 square kilometers) of new data in the Winchester 3D seismic survey.

Santos is operator with 75 percent interest in WA-323-P and WA-330-P. The permits are located in the Dampier Sub-Basin, part of the Carnarvon Basin.

Octanex is partner with 25 percent interest.

Partner Shell Development (Australia) Pty Ltd also has committed to drilling the Palta-1 gas exploration well in WA-384-P by August of this year, or before the end of the permit's sixth year. WA-384-P is located in the Southern Exmouth Sub-Basin.

Octanex reported that Shell has received environmental approval for the well, which will be drilled in approximately 4,429 feet (1,350 meters) of water to a total depth between 17, 470 feet (5,325 meters) and 18,618 feet (5,675 meters).

Shell also has received environmental approval for the Tortilla 2D seismic survey, through which 486 miles (783 kilometers) of seismic data will be gathered. The survey will take place during this year's first quarter off the North West Cape of Western Australia.

Octanex previously concluded an agreement with Shell for Shell to acquire 100 percent working interest in WA-384-P, WA-385-P and WA-394-P. Octanex holds residual rights in each of the permits in the form of discovery payments and royalties.

In the southern Bonaparte Basin, Octanex acquired during the quarter three new 2D seismic surveys that fulfilled Year 3 work commitments – the 614 miles (989 kilometers) Kingfisher survey in WA-421-P; the 405 miles (653 kilometers) Hawk survey in WA-441-P; and the 345 miles (556 kilometers) Falcon survey in WA-440-P. Seabird Exploration vessel Voyager Explorer conducted the surveys.

The 2D surveys were followed by the Rissa 127 square miles (331 square kilometers) 3D seismic survey in WA-422-P, the first of three new 3D surveys to be acquired within the Southern Bonaparte Basin permits.

Voyager Explorer currently is conducting the Tamar 3D seismic survey in WA-420-P, which will be followed by the last 3D survey, Ascalon, in WA-407-P. Octanex is operator of these permits with 100 percent interests.

Karen Boman has more than 10 years of experience covering the upstream oil and gas sector. Email Karen at kboman@rigzone.com

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