Avery Resources to Explore High-Profile Acreage in Cooper Basin
Avery Resources Inc. said that it has received the necessary approvals to proceed with exploration of two large land blocks that are prospective for light oil in the heart of Australia's onshore Cooper Basin petroleum province.
Two large high-profile blocks have been granted to Avery and its Australian partners, Bow Energy Ltd. and Victoria Petroleum NL. The partners were able to negotiate a Native Title Agreement which has been endorsed by the Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Water, Queensland. The government has issued an Authority to Prospect, ATP 752P, beginning August 1, 2006 for an initial 12-year term.
The grant covers the ATP 752P Wompi Block (236,700 acres) and the ATP 752P Barta Block (631,100 acres). Avery will fund the drilling of three wells in the Wompi Block as well as two wells plus 100 kilometers 2D seismic acquisition in the Barta Block, earning a total of 50 percent for each area.
"Avery earmarked this acreage as very high priority," said David Little, Chairman and CEO of Avery Resources. "It's along the oil-prone rim of Australia's most prolific onshore basin. The center is where most of the gas fields are located, but our portfolio concentrates on the oily rim."
Little explained that the joint venture has been encouraged by the prospectivity of ATP 752P. The joint venture group has already been working on understanding the Wompi and Barta blocks, in relation to the nearby oil fields and working up drilling prospects. Avery is ready to progress drilling programs in areas that are surrounded or offset by oil fields.
The Wompi Block covers 236,700 acres along the basin's southeastern oil rim, sharing its borders with nine other production licenses.
"We've managed to get a substantial interest in a large land area in a very oily part of the basin. There are 16 oil fields and three gas fields within six kilometers (3.7 miles) of the Wompi Block boundaries. Most produce from multiple horizons," added Little. "There have only been nine wells drilled in the block. That's one well per 26,000 acres. The last one was drilled in 1993, when the oil price dipped below US$20 per barrel."
The joint venture is currently reprocessing much of the existing seismic database. Avery has thus far been able to identify 17 high-quality prospects and leads in the Wompi Block. The company's operating partner, Bow Energy, calculated an unrisked potential of 27.4 million barrels of oil recoverable from these prospects. Avery and its partners are now ranking them for drilling. Currently, Avery has rig slots for drilling at least two wells in the block during the fourth quarter of 2006.
The Barta Block covers 631,100 acres, located on the basin's northwestern oil rim. A small part of the license to the northeast is gas prone, but with high oil prices, Avery is focusing on working up prospects in the oil prone part of the block.
Avery is primarily concentrating on the western area of the Barta Block, centrally located between the adjacent Cook oil field and the James oil field to the west. Avery has thus far identified 11 new prospects and leads lying along a high oil flow potential trend. Unrisked recoverable reserve estimates of 98 million barrels have been calculated by Bow Energy for these new prospects. A new infill seismic acquisition program, designed to optimize drilling locations, is planned to commence in the Barta Block in October of this year, and the company is aiming to drill up to two wells in the Barta Block during the first quarter of 2007.
Avery now has a very impressive portfolio in Australia's most productive onshore basin. At this stage, the Company expects to drill 8 to 10 wells in the Cooper Basin during the remainder of 2006 and 2007. Following success in the Toparoa-1 well, which tested oil at 1,814 barrels of oil per day, Avery is looking forward to increasing the number of wells to be drilled over the next 12 to 18 months.
Avery will also be a 10-percent participant in an offshore 3D seismic survey, currently planned for fourth quarter of 2006. The aim of this survey is to locate a production well on the 2004 Katandra-1 oil discovery.
Avery Resources is an international junior oil and gas exploration company based in Calgary, Alberta that trades on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol ARY. The company is committed to growing shareholder value through international acquisitions and exploration. Avery's primary interest is in Australia, where the company is building a significant presence through partnerships, drilling, and acquisitions. A successful oil well (Toparoa-1) was recently drilled by Avery and its partner in the Cooper Basin region of Australia, where Avery is planning to drill up to eight wells over the next year.
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