CGG to Complete La Bella 3D Seismic Survey in Otway Basin Soon

Australian oil and gas explorer WHL Energy Limited reported Monday that the La Bella 3D seismic survey in Permit VIC/P67 in Otway Basin off Victoria, Australia, being acquired by CGG’s state-of-the-art seismic vessel Viking II, is 78 percent complete and on target to be completed around Dec. 12.

To date 52 prime lines of a planned total of 60 lines have been fully or partially acquired and the survey is expected to be completed at the end of this week, slightly ahead of schedule and slightly under budget.

The company is looking forward to the processing of the raw data and interpretation of the results. The initial raw “brute stack” data available from the seismic vessel, although not possible to interpret quantitatively, is as expected and consistent with the key features in VIC/P67, the La Bella gas field and the key exploration prospects.

WHL Energy’s Managing Director, David Rowbottam, commented: “We are very pleased with the operational aspects of the La Bella 3D Marine Seismic Survey, which has progressed within schedule and budget despite the challenges of operating in sometimes difficult weather conditions and also in an area of high environmental sensitivity.”

“It is testament to the company’s ability to conduct such operations safely and cost effectively while respecting the wider community’s interests regarding the environmental values in the area at the same time.

“WHL Energy and our joint venture partner, AWE, are looking forward to receiving the processed data. An initial processed volume is expected to be available late February, following which the company will be able to assess more definitively the resource potential in the block.”

WHL Energy also notes the commentary regarding the Eastern Australia gas market by Beach Energy Limited during a recent market briefing. Beach’s Managing Director, Reg Nelson, reported that wholesale eastern Australian gas prices have already risen to $6.38 - $8.21 (AUD 7 -  AUD 9) gigajoule and that short term contracts could reach $9.12 (AUD 10) per gigajoule. WHL Energy is well placed to take advantage this new gas pricing paradigm, with the undeveloped 2C Contingent Resources in the La Bella gas field and the exploration potential identified in VIC/P67.


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