Drillsearch Energy and Beach Energy have started an ambitious oil exploration and development program in the Cooper Basin Western Flank, Drillsearch Energy said Thursday in a statement.
The program, also known as the PEL 91 joint venture, involves drilling seven appraisal and development wells and five exploration wells on the onshore Bauer oil field.
"There is a strong ramp-up of activities on PEL 91 as we believe that the permit is significantly under-explored," a spokesperson representing Drillsearch told Rigzone on Thursday.
Current 3D seismic mapping indicates that the Bauer oil field is likely to extend north of the initial exploration and development wells and this will be tested by the Bauer-5 appraisal and development well that was spudded on July 11, 2012.
The Bauer-5 well is being drilled to assess further development possibilities of McKinlay and Namur reservoir sands encountered in the Bauer-1 well, as well as the potential development of the Lower and Middle Birkhead Formation where oil shows were also encountered.
The program also sees Drillsearch and Beach completing the construction of the Bauer Central Oil Production (BCOP) facilities that will be capable of processing and handling an initial 20,000 barrels of oil and water; connecting the Bauer-2, Bauer-4 appraisal wells and the Hanson-1 well to the facilities; and constructing a 29-mile (47-kilometer) crude oil export pipeline from the BCOP facilities to Beach’s Lycium Crude Oil Pipeline Hub.
"Construction of the Bauer-Lycium crude oil export pipeline is a major game-changer for Drillsearch. It provides tremendous upside in the near-term with export potential of 6,000 bpod," Drillsearch's managing director Brad Lingo said in a statement.
The Bauer oil field contains four production wells - Bauer-1 to 4. Oil is being produced from the Bauer-1 to 3 production wells at a consistent rate of 800 barrels of oil per day (bopd) to 1,200 bopd.
First oil production from the BCOP facilities started on May 17, 2012 from the Bauer-1 discovery well. The well tested at a production rate of up to 6,000 bopd.
Meanwhile, the Western Flank exploration program is waiting on interpretation of the Aquillus and Limbatus 3D seismic surveys.
Early stage processing and interpretation of the Aquillus 3D seismic indicates that extensive mid-Birkhead sandstone systems appear to exist with seismic signatures similar to those seen associated with the the Growler, Wirraway, Snatcher and Charo Birkhead Channel Oil Discoveries in PELs 104 and 111.
PEL 91 is sited on the western margin of the Cooper-Eromanga Basin in South Australia. The license occupies an area of 761 square miles (1,972 square kilometers), data from Beach's report on the block shows. Drillsearch owns a 60 percent working interest in PEL 91. Beach is the operator and it owns the remaining 40 percent working interest. Both of the companies are listed in Australia.
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