Bass Strait Fires up VIC/P41 Seismic Survey

Basker, Manta, Gummy Fields
(Click to Enlarge)

Bass Strait Oil Company Limited, as operator of the Vic/P41 Joint Venture, announced that data acquisition for the 2008 Vic/P41 offshore 2D seismic survey commenced on June 1, 2008.

The survey will record approximately 250 km of new seismic data in the east of the Vic/P41 permit and is anticipated to be completed by the end of this week. It is being recorded as part of a multi-operator consortium which has been conducting 2D seismic acquisition in various permits in southeast Australia. Vic/P41 lies approximately 40 km south of the eastern Victorian coast.

The new survey will meet the Vic/P41 Year 3 work program commitments, which call for a 250 km 2D seismic survey by September 2009.

The joint venture has agreed to accelerate the acquisition of this 2D seismic data, to better define the eastern area of the permit where several leads are defined only on sparse existing data. This eastern area has not been targeted for significant exploration in the past, partly due to its being located further out in the Basin than existing producing fields. Also, at least in the southeastern corner of the permit, previous exploration was discouraged by increasing water depths that are now within reach of modern drilling rigs. When the Vic/P41 joint venture first acquired a reconnaissance 2D seismic survey in the east of the permit in 2003, it was the first seismic survey targeting this area since the 1970s.

This 2003 survey identified a number of leads. One example of specific interest to be followed-up by the 2008 survey is the 'Lead A' feature which, while currently defined on only one 2003 2D seismic line, shows several encouraging aspects and may prove to be a significant prospect.

While BAS continues to invest in new 2D seismic data in the east, the western area of Vic/P41 was covered by 3D seismic in 2005. Based on this 3D survey data, several large prospects along the Rosedale Fault trend are interpreted as analogous to the Kipper oil and gas field which lies on-trend to the west, outside Vic/P41. Development plans for Kipper have been announced targeting first production for 2011.

Further to the south are the Oscar prospects, which are interpreted to be on trend with and analogous to the producing Basker / Manta / Gummy (BMG) fields, which are outside the BAS permit area to the west. BMG commenced oil production in December 2006.

While these 3D-defined prospects are ready to be tested, the timing of any potential drilling is dependent on the availability of a semi-submersible drilling rig slot in the Gippsland Basin (with current scheduling indicating potential availability in late 2009) and on the progress of farmout negotiations.

The Vic/P41 joint venture partners are Bass Strait Oil Company (Operator) with 45%, Moby Oil & Gas with 30% (reducing to 25% subject to farmin by OBL), Eagle Bay Resources with 25% (reducing to 17.5% subject to farmin by OBL) and Oil Basins Limited with 12.5% (subject to farmouts by MOG and EBR).


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