Australian Worldwide Exploration Limited ("AWE") has expanded its oil exploration footprint in Asia, with the acquisition of another Production Sharing Contract ("PSC") in Indonesia.
In addition, AWE's planned drilling in Block 06/94 in Vietnam has been accelerated, with the well now scheduled to start prior to the end of May.
AWE was recently awarded a 100% interest in the Terumbu PSC, located in the prolific East Java basin. The new PSC is largely adjacent to AWE's existing operations in Indonesia and helps complete the "jigsaw" of vacant prospective acreage in and around AWE's existing exploration footprint in the region.
AWE now has a total holding of approximately 9,500 square kilometers of prospective acreage in the East Java Basin. AWE will also become an operator for the first time in Indonesia.
The East Java Basin is a significant oil and gas production region, with approximately 200 million barrels of oil and condensate and 1.4 Trillion cubic feet of gas being discovered to date.
The further expansion into Indonesia is consistent with AWE's strategy to grow shareholder returns by exploration for oil throughout the Asian region.
AWE announced the move into Vietnam in March 2009, through a deal to fund a proportion of the upcoming Tuong Vi-1 well in Block 06/94. The permit is located in the prospective Nam Con Son basin, approximately 400 kilometers from the coast and is adjacent to the BP gas production facilities at Lan Tay and Lan Do and close to a recent oil discovery by Premier Oil.
The farm-in well was initially scheduled for June, but has been accelerated and is expected to start drilling shortly.
Tuong Vi-1 will test the oil potential of the Dua formation sandstones and the Nam Con Son carbonate, targeting a gross recoverable oil resource of 40 to 60 million barrels.
AWE's managing director Bruce Wood said, "AWE's exploration strategy in Asia is beginning to take shape, with additional work being undertaken to investigate the oil opportunities in the region.
"The expansion of our acreage footprint in the prospective East Java basin will provide added drilling opportunities beyond the current program.
"The acceleration in our new Vietnamese venture will quickly test our ideas on the prospectivity of the Nam Con Son basin.
"If successful, AWE's Asian oil exploration strategy will demonstrate continued robust returns for shareholders."
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