Preparations are well advanced to take the Basker Manta Project up to full field production levels of 25,000 bopd in the second half of this year. The key issues addressed during the EPT were:
1. Reservoir and well performance
Two cargoes of crude oil have been sold previously and currently the Basker Spirit has a cargo in excess of 160,000 barrels of crude oil which will be delivered to a major refinery on the east coast of Australia, on the passage to Singapore for a routine Marine inspection and Certification. The total revenue of A$61.7 million generated by the sale of the initial two cargoes has been received previously. The third cargo is expected to be sold for of the order of A$15 million.
As scheduled, the Crystal Ocean will also depart for Singapore at then end of the month, where a compressor will be installed for handling of associated gas produced with the crude oil. During the EPT the gas has been flared, as approved by the Authorities. During the Full Field Production, expected to begin in the second half of 2006, the compressor will be used to compress the associated gas and reinject it into selected intervals in the Basker-3 well. The reinjection is forecast to continue until some time next year when export and sale of that associated gas is expected to start. (The Manta and Gummy gas fields are still expected to be brought on line in 2008.)
Apart from the routine work to be done on the Basker Spirit in Singapore the vessel will undergo some modifications to the bow loading system; during the EPT the Basker Spirit connected and disconnected from the SPM several times and the enhancements that will be implemented are as a consequence of the valuable experience gained during these operations.
The key benefits of the EPT are as follows:
Reservoir and Well Performance
Suitability of Equipment and Performance
Full Field Development
Drilling of the development wells continues with the final well, Basker-4, currently drilling through the pay zone. The three new Basker wells will be completed once the Basker-4 is drilled to total depth and all three new Basker wells will be flow tested. It should be noted that Basker-3 will be completed as a gas injection/oil producer. As indicated above, initially it will be used for gas injection and subsequently for oil production.
Between now and late September 2006 when the two vessels are expected to return from Singapore it is planned that the CSO, Venturer, the same construction vessel successfully used last year for the EPT installation, will return to tie in the Manta-2A well with a flowline and control line. The four Basker wells will have their production/injection fluids passed through a subsea manifold to be positioned by the CSO, Venturer. The existing flowline and control line will be used for the manifold and the four Basker wells. The Crystal Ocean with the compressor installed is designed to have a daily production capacity of 35,000 bopd. Once commissioning is completed it is anticipated that from October 2006 average rates of 25,000 bopd will be maintained allowing for scheduled cut backs for the departures by the Basker Spirit for delivery of crude cargoes, to local refineries and/or for ship-to-ship transfer, estimated to take 3-4 days of each month. (The storage capacity of the Basker Spirit is of the order of 680,000 barrels.)
As a consequence of the positive results achieved to date by the development wells and the confirmation of the excellent recovery potential from the reservoir with the presence of the water drive mechanism the reserves update scheduled to be conducted in July/August 2006 is expected to yield an improvement to the currently stated initial proved and probable oil reserves of 30.1 MMBbls. Any increase in reserves is not forecast to contribute to increased daily production rates, however, it will extend the life of the oil project beyond the current forecast 6 years with the period of production without decline to beyond 2007.
The above results confirm the prudent judgment of conducting the EPT to ensure the capability and efficiency of the innovative production system used for the first time in Bass Strait. Furthermore, it provided a low cost, low risk method of determining reservoir characteristics while at the same time generating significant revenue to assist with the funding of the Full Field Development. The BMG Joint Venture is well satisfied with the achievements of the EPT and now looks forward with confidence to the start of Full Field Production at average rates of 25,000 bopd later this year.
The participants in the BMG Joint Venture are Anzon Australia as operator with 50% and Beach Petroleum with 50%.
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