Since May this year BHP Billiton has undertaken a six-well drilling campaign in the permit, which is located approximately 45 kilometers north of Exmouth. Water depths in WA-12-R are in the range of 190 - 210 meters.
The results from the exploration and appraisal program have been positive and increase the overall volume of oil previously discovered in 2003 by BHP Billiton with its Ravensworth-1 well located in adjacent WA-155-P (1) and Crosby-1 in WA-12-R.
BHP Billiton Petroleum President Americas/Australia Operations and Technology, Mike Weill said the Stickle-1, Harrison-1, Crosby-2 and Ravensworth-2 results represent a series of oil discoveries over adjacent fault terraces.
"These accumulations occur in reservoirs of similar size and quality and are relatively close to one another. We can develop these as a combined scheme and together they equate to a medium-sized oil reserve," Mr. Weill said.
BHP Billiton is currently undertaking engineering studies to select a development option for this project, which is known as 'The Pyrenees Development'.
The success of this drilling program is a further example of how the Exmouth Sub-basin is evolving as an important oil province in Australian waters. The Exmouth Sub-basin has undergone a high level of drilling activity and BHP Billiton has executed a total of 18 wells in the basin over 2003 and 2004, comprising nine in WA-255-P (2), seven in the adjacent WA-12-R and two in WA-155-P (1) permits.
BHP Billiton owns a 71.43% interest and is operator of WA-12-R; 28.57% is held by Apache Energy Limited.
BHP Billiton owns a 39.999% interest and is the operator of WA-155-P (1) with Apache Energy Limited holding 31.501% and INPEX with 28.500%.
BHP Billiton owns a 50% interest and is the operator of WA-255-P with 50% held by Woodside Energy Limited.
In July 2004 BHP Billiton completed a successful drilling campaign in the adjacent Block WA-255-P (2), which has led to the commencement of development planning studies on the Stybarrow field.
Recent drilling program summary in WA-12-R:
Two exploration wells, Stickle-1 and Harrison-1, and two appraisal wells, Crosby-2 and Ravensworth-2, were drilled by the semi-submersible SEDCO 703.
Appraisal well Stickle-2 concluded this week with the subsequent sidetrack well Stickle-3 expected to finish early next week. The semi-submersible rig Atwood Eagle has drilled both wells.
Previous drilling WA-12-R in 2003:
Previous drilling in WA-155-P (1) in 2003:
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