Cooper Energy Limited has reaped the twin benefits of record oil prices and a step-change in production from its South Australian operations during the December 2007 Quarter, delivering record quarterly production revenue of A$12.6 million – 103% up on the previous quarter – and laying the foundations for a pivotal growth year in 2008 as its offshore growth strategy moves into top gear.
The Perth-based oil & gas company announced a 73% increase in quarterly production to 115,029 barrels of oil (September Quarter: 66,619 barrels), reflecting its recent 100% success rate in development drilling on the Callawonga and Worrior oil fields in South Australia.
The drilling success at these fields underpinned the increased base case production forecast announced last year for 2007/08 of 300,000 barrels of oil (up from 256,871 barrels for 2006/07).
"We had a great production result thanks to the successful 2007 in-fill drilling program which saw us drill a total of five successful development wells at Callawonga and Worrior," said Cooper Energy's Managing Director, Mike Scott. "We produced oil during the Quarter at a daily rate of approximately 1,250 barrels and received an average oil price of over A$100/barrel for the crude sales."
Following the A$60 million capital raising completed during the Quarter, the Company is in a very strong position to aggressively pursue its growth objectives.
Mr Scott said the recent Cleansweep and Parsons oil discoveries in the Cooper Basin had added approximately 500,000 barrels of oil (P50) to the Company's undeveloped oil portfolio, with approximately 400,000 barrels of oil (P50) to be moved to the developed category once these wells commence production.
"Cleansweep will be producing towards the end of January and Parsons in April with these two fields between them expected to further significantly boost our production volumes," he continued. "We expect that these wells should add a total of 1,000 barrels of oil per day to our production volumes when they start up."
"With oil prices remaining buoyant and our base case production forecast increased to 300,000 barrels, we are looking forward to a strong production and financial performance during the second half," Mr Scott said.
"However, while our core Australian operations are continuing to perform exceptionally well, the bigger picture for Cooper is our greatly expanded international E&P push, which will gather momentum very rapidly this year," he added. Mr Scott said the next two firm wells scheduled were the Parsons-2 appraisal well in South Australia and the Gurame-1X appraisal well in North Sumatra, Indonesia – which will signal the Company's first major international development push. Parsons-2 is targeting some 400,000 barrels of recoverable oil (Cooper Energy share 100,000 barrels).
Meanwhile, a rig has been identified for mobilization to drill the Gurame-1X well, in the Seruway PSC in North East Sumatra (Cooper 22.5% interest), subject to conclusion of the rig tendering process. Historical recoverable hydrocarbon estimates for this gas field, located 50km from the super-giant Arun gas/condensate field and LNG Plant, have been reported at between 400 Bcf gas with 20 million barrels of liquids to 2.7 Tcf of gas with 150 million barrels of liquids.
"Both of these wells can add further to the Company's value in the near-term," Mr Scott commented. "With an exciting pipeline of exploration and development opportunities, we are looking forward to what we see as a key growth year for Cooper Energy in 2008."
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