Oilex Ltd announced Monday confirmation of the postulated extension of the rift basin, known as the Wallal Graben, into Oilex’s SPA 17 AO acreage in Western Australia. This confirmation is an outcome of interpreting the recently acquired gravity gradiometry/magnetic survey (Survey) data. CGG Aviation (Australia) Pty Ltd (CGG) has provided a preliminary interpretation of the aerial Survey data within SPA 17 AO (formerly STP-SPA-0055) covering approximately 2.8 million acres (11,400 square kilometers).
The interpretation integrates regional gravity, magnetic, 2D seismic, regional surface geological and well data in adjacent areas with the newly acquired Survey data. Preliminary interpretation confirms Oilex’s structural model that the Wallal Graben, which is clearly imaged by 2D seismic data in Oilex’s adjacent permits, extends into SPA 17 AO. The Wallal Graben appears to contain the important elements of a working petroleum system including source rocks, structure, thick sedimentary section and sufficient depth of burial to generate hydrocarbons. The graben is now shown to be present in exploration areas encompassing approximately 4.4 million acres (17,900 square kilometers) held 100 percent by Oilex.
The onshore portion of the Wallal Graben had been interpreted in the past to be confined to an area from the coast to approximately 31 miles (50 kilometers) inland and now covered by STP-EPA-0106 and STP-EPA-0107 permits, both 100 percent Oilex. Through its regional work, Oilex identified the possibility that the Wallal Graben may extend further to the south into open acreage. Oilex successfully applied to the Western Australia Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) for a Special Prospecting Authority (SPA) over the subject area by committing to conduct the Survey. Under the terms of the SPA, Oilex has exclusive rights to negotiate a formal exploration permit with the Government of Western Australia upon satisfying the work commitment including this Survey and the interpretation of the data.
Proven global basin analogues having significant discoveries of oil and gas are relevant to Oilex’s interpretation of the Wallal Graben and its prospectivity. Onshore India, the Barmer Basin, its southern extension the Cambay Basin, where Oilex is actively drilling, and the East African Rift System are considered to be good analogues to the Wallal Graben rift system. These analogues have numerous successful play-types.
Cairn India had major world class discoveries the Barmer Basin rift system in Rajasthan, India and is now producing ~ 200,000 barrels of oil per day from many fields. Tullow Oil is achieving significant exploration success in East Africa with a number of large oil discoveries in the onshore Lokichar Basin in the East African Rift System, Kenya. Tullow has recently announced oil discoveries of more than 600 million barrels after drilling 7 wells. Although these Basins contain significantly younger sediments than the Wallal Graben, the structural style and identified play-types appear to have many similarities to those identified in the Oilex acreage. Elsewhere the Canning Basin has a proven hydrocarbon system adjacent to the Wallal Graben.
Tullow conducted the world’s largest (at the time) airborne full tensor gravity/magnetic survey to identify the Lokichar Basin. A similar exploration approach was employed by Oilex to understand the potential of the Wallal Graben. Given the results, it is planned to continue its use in Oilex’s other Canning Basin permits.
Forward Plan for SPA 017 AO
Oilex will proceed to finalize the Survey and Interpretation report for submission to the DMP and commence negotiations to convert the prospective areas of SPA 017 AO into a formal exploration permit.
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