Nexus, which holds an 85% equity share of the AC/P23 exploration permit is drilling the wells ahead of a likely final investment decision on the Crux liquids project expected mid-2008.
Two of the three wells will be drilled in AC/P23 to appraise the Crux field while a third well will be drilled in the adjoining AC/P41 exploration permit in which Nexus holds a 50% interest, to test the Libra exploration prospect.
The Crux-3 well will be drilled in the core area of the Crux field to evaluate the thickness of the main Nome formation reservoir section. Seismic data indicates that there is the potential for this reservoir section to be thicker in the central part of the field than currently mapped. The well will test the potential for the younger Plover formation, intersected in both the Crux-2 and Crux-2 ST1 wells, to extend toward the south western part of the field.
It is intended that Crux-3 will be production tested to gain additional information about condensate properties which is required to finalize the design of the production facilities and for marketing of the condensate.
Crux-3 will immediately be followed by the drilling of the Crux-4 appraisal well which will be located in the south eastern part of the Crux field to evaluate the reservoir thickness.
Both appraisal wells have been designed to have the capacity to be suspended as future production wells. Following the drilling of both wells the Crux field condensate reserve volumes will be updated incorporating the results of both wells.
Recent work indicates that additional resource potential exists in the AC/P41 exploration permit to the south and the Libra-1 well is scheduled to be drilled in February 2008. It will be the third well and the first of three commitment wells scheduled to be drilled in the permit in 2008.
The Libra prospect is calculated to have a mean recoverable prospective resource of nearly 500 Bcf and 19 MMbbls of condensate.
A positive result at Libra will increase the likelihood of exploration success at the adjacent Auriga prospect in AC/P23. Auriga has an expected prospective resource of 1 Tcf and 35 MMbbls of condensate.
These volumes have only been calculated for the Nome formation (the main reservoir section seen in the Crux field) and do not include additional potential that may be present in the younger Plover formation found to be gas bearing in the Crux-2 and Crux-2 ST1 wells. This new reservoir provides additional exploration targets in and around an existing gas/condensate field. The Plover formation could hold in excess of 2 Tcf of gas and 60 MMstb of condensate across both AC/P23 and AC/P41.
Nexus estimates that the exploration potential surrounding the Crux field in AC/P23 and AC/P41 at both the Nome and Plover formation levels has the potential to contain prospective resources of over 6 Tcf of gas and 220 MMbbls of condensate.
Nexus managing director, Ian Tchacos said, "This is a very significant appraisal program aimed at further defining the architecture of the Crux core area prior to a financial investment decision."
"The appraisal and exploration upside in the greater Crux area which has been identified to date is significant in the context of the expansion of the planned Crux liquids project and if near field exploration is successful a possible LNG development in the future." Mr. Tchacos added.
Partners in AC/P23 are Nexus Energy with 85% and Osaka Gas Crux Pty Ltd with 15%. Partners in AC/P41 are Shell Development (Australia) Pty ltd with 50% and Nexus Energy with 50%.
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