New work to define the feature has shown that while some uncertainty still exists about the potential oil volumes, which can be attributed to Wardie, the prospect is seen to be comparable in size to the West Seahorse field. As a result 3D Oil, as previously announced, has chosen to drill a well on the Wardie prospect ahead of an earlier planned well on the Sea Lion prospect, located 7 km west-north-west of West Seahorse.
The Wardie prospect's potential hydrocarbon volumes are categorized as undiscovered resources unlike those in the West Seahorse complex, which is a combination of proven reserves, and contingent resources. While Wardie has lower associated risk then the Sea Lion prospect there is still considerable associated risk but its proximity to West Seahorse, makes it more economically viable in the event of a discovery. If commercial volumes of oil were present in Wardie it is feasible the field could be linked, for production purposes, to the proposed West Seahorse development.
Planning for the drilling the West Seahorse 3 appraisal well and the Wardie 1 wildcat exploration well is continuing based around the preferred option of drilling both wells from the same surface location. Deviated wells would then be drilled into each feature.
3D Oil plans to drill West Seahorse 3 and Wardie 1 starting late in the first quarter next year following the completion of a drilling program by Apache Oil. The newly constructed drilling rig, West Triton, which will be modified to allow the drilling of deviated wells, will be used for the two well program.
3D Oil joined the Australian Stock Exchange in April, 2007 after a $44 million Initial Public Offering to fund the development of its Bass Strait oil fields. The company issued 110 million shares, partly paid to 25c a share with a further 15c per share payable on December 6, 2007.
3D acquired a 100% interest in the Gippsland basin permit Vic/P57 in April, 2004, which contains the West Seahorse oil field as well as significant oil exploration opportunities.
3D plans to drill an appraisal well at West Seahorse in early 2008, immediately followed by a well on the Wardie prospect.
Oil production from West Seahorse could start as early as 2010. The company has also acquired a 100% interest in the lightly explored Bass basin permit T41-P.
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