New Otway Basin Gas Search in Far West Victoria


Otway Basin, Australia
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Beach Petroleum has further expanded its exploration in the Otway Basin to become Operator for a new onshore gas search in far western Victoria in joint venture with Santos Limited and Origin Energy Resources Limited

Beach will acquire a 50% interest in petroleum exploration permit, PEP 160, adjacent the SA-Victorian border, under an agreement reached with Santos (30%) and Origin (20%) for Beach to contribute to drilling costs of the Lindsay-1 exploration well in PEP 160. The well will test the gas potential of the Pretty Hill Sandstone in a prospect 30 kilometers southeast of Penola. The Company said today it planned to drill Lindsay-1 early in 2006.

"Any discovery in the tenement has potential to be commercialized through either the nearby SEAGAS pipeline to Adelaide or the Katnook gas gathering facility just over the border near Penola," Beach Petroleum's Managing Director, Mr. Reg Nelson, said today.

Beach is already active in western Victoria, currently drilling for gas in PEP 154 near Warrnambool, where it has produced gas in recent years. The Company also has a 17% interest in the offshore VIC/P46 license abutting the coast directly south of PEP 160 and close to Portland. The joint venture is targeting several large structures that have already been identified in the near-shore portion of the permit within 25 km of the coast. 3D seismic is being considered for acquisition in VIC/P46 early next year, with a tentative date of first drilling for gas by late 2006 or early 2007.

Subject to regulatory approvals, interest holders in PEP 160 will be:

Beach Petroleum Limited 50% (Operator)
Origin Energy Resources Limited 20%
Santos Limited 30%

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