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Beach Makes New Cooper Basin Oil Discovery

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Beach Energy reported Monday it has made a new field oil discovery at the Pennington-1 exploration well, located 5.5 miles (9 kilometers) due east of the Bauer oilfield, in PEL 91 onshore Australia. Beach is operator of PEL 91 with 40 percent interest; Drillsearch Energy Limited holds 60 percent).

The Pennington-1 well was a deviated well and encountered a gross oil column of 16 feet (five meters) in the McKinlay Sandstone, contiguous with a net oil column of 26 feet (eight meters) in the Namur Sandstone and a separate 19 miles (six meter) net oil column in the mid-Namur Sandstone. Oil shows in the deeper Birkhead Formation require further evaluation to determine the presence of moveable oil in this section, which appears to be 22 feet (seven meters) thick.

Data gathered from wireline logs indicates that the upside pre-drill estimates will be exceeded and are likely to be in excess of two million barrels of recoverable oil. As mentioned above, the Birkhead shows will be further evaluated at a later date for fluid content, productivity and volumes via drill stem testing. The well will be cased and suspended as a future oil producer.

Following the completion of the evaluation program the Ensign 930 rig will be moved to the Coorabie-1 exploration well, located approximately 18.6 miles (30 kilometers) to the SouthEast of Pennington-1 in PEL 106B. Beach holds 50 percent and is operator of PEL 106B; Drillsearch holds the remaining 50 percent.

Reg Nelson, managing director of Beach, said: "Beach has been talking for some time now about the prospectivity of our Western Flank acreage in the Cooper Basin. In our operated Western Flank exploration and development program this financial year to date, we have drilled 12 wells, 11 of which have been successes.

"With newly acquired 2D and 3D seismic data from this area, we anticipate a great deal more success to follow these recent discoveries. Pennington-1 appears to be another stacked play which offers oil over a number of horizons. Bauer-1 recently flowed at 15,000 bopd [barrels of oil per day] on test, with no water present, which is a clear indication of the flow rate potential of wells in this part of the Cooper Basin. The exploration results coming from our Western Flank area are a great credit to our technical team, whom continue to identify numerous new targets from recently acquired seismic data."

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