Avery Resources Adds to Australian Cooper Basin Portfolio
Avery Resources (Australia) Pty. Ltd. has entered into an agreement with Australian companies Victoria Petroleum N.L. and Bow Energy Ltd. to earn an interest in the highly prospective oil and gas exploration permit ATP 752P in the Queensland sector of the Cooper Basin. ATP 752P is divided into the Barta and Wompi Blocks, with a combined area of 3,878 square kilometers (approximately 958,000 acres). Avery has the opportunity to participate in up to five exploration wells to earn up to a 50% interest in both areas. Avery has already established projects in ATP 732P, PEL 113 (Murteree Block) and PEL 103 (Aspen, South Candra and Turban Blocks). Along with these projects, the ATP 752P Barta and Wompi Blocks represent an active expansion of Avery's interests in Australia's most prolific onshore petroleum province.
The Barta and Wompi Blocks were previously part of the large Santos-operated ATP 259P, the permit that hosts the largest oil and gas reserves in Queensland. The licenses have been awarded subject to resolution of Native Title. The recent resolution of Native Title in ATP 794P, operated by Victoria Petroleum, gives a good indication that resolution of Avery's ATP 752P permit may also occur in the next few months.
The Barta Block is located between the South Australian border and the Innamincka and Acquitaine B Blocks of ATP 259P, and occupies approximately 2,600 square kilometers (approximately 650,000 acres). It is mainly oil prone, except for the northeastern part, which is more natural gas prone. The most prospective part of the block is situated between the Cook oilfield to the east, the Acrasia and Reg Sprigg oilfields to the south and the James oil discovery to the west. Several large undrilled structures located near the Cook oilfield are the primary targets at this stage.
The Wompi Block was previously part of the ATP 259P Total 66 and Naccowlah blocks. The block represents a spread of partly contiguous blocks, occupying approximately 1,200 square kilometers (nearly 300,000 acres). The blocks lie along an established northeast-southwest oil trend, adjacent to a large number of small oilfields, with 12 separate production licenses sharing boundaries with the Wompi Block. An oil pipeline traverses the length of the block, connecting the Tickalara oilfield to the southwest to the Jackson oilfield hub to the northeast.
Avery will contribute funding toward geological and geophysical evaluation, seismic reprocessing and mapping during the second half of 2005 to earn an exclusive option to acquire 100 kilometers of 2D seismic. In addition, Avery will participate in up to five exploration wells to earn up to 50% interest in each of the ATP 752P Barta and Wompi Blocks. At this stage, drilling is planned for 2006 and early 2007.
The ATP 752P Barta and Wompi Blocks represent an opportunity for Avery to gain a strong acreage position along established oil prone fairways, plus an opportunity to participate initially in five exploration wells. The blocks are considered to have exploration follow-up opportunities in a variety of plays.
The Barta and Wompi Blocks will be operated on behalf of Avery by Victoria Petroleum, a
publicly listed Australian exploration and production company with operations in both South
Australia and Queensland sectors of the Cooper Basin.