Carnarvon Reports Hydrocarbons Observed at Phoenix South-1 Well in WA

Carnarvon Petroleum Limited (Carnarvon) reported Tuesday that gas and indications of associated liquid hydrocarbons were observed in the Phoenix South-1 well in permit WA-435-P on the North West Shelf offshore Western Australia prior to a drill bit failure, which has necessitated the drilling of a minor side-track around a small portion of the well bore.

In the past two weeks Apache Energy, the Operator of the Phoenix South-1 well, had drilled to a depth of 14,176 feet (4,321 meters) Measured Depth (MD) and, as at 06:00 hours this morning, the well was preparing to side-track at around 13,123 feet (4,000 meters) MD to complete the drilling to the expected Total Depth (TD) of 14,763 feet (4,500 meters).

Managing Director, Adrian Cook said; “The observance of gas and associated liquid hydrocarbons validates the conceptual exploration model created by the interpretation of the original Phoenix-1 well outcome drilled by BP in the early 1980’s. These observations are encouraging, although I would caution that they are untested, unquantified and preliminary observations only. This outcome has provided Apache with the encouragement to continue drilling, justifying the additional cost and time delay associated with drilling a second side-track well bore. It is my intention to update the market once the estimated cost and time delay caused by the second sidetrack is known, however I can say that these delays are expected to be significantly less than the initial sidetrack. The plan is continue drilling to the target depth of 14,763 feet (4,500 meters) MD in order to test the sands that were observed to this depth in the Phoenix-1 well.

At this stage it is premature to make any conclusions around the quality of the observed gas or liquid hydrocarbons, their volumes or whether they will flow and accordingly whether they could result in any commercial development. Further drilling and evaluation is required before we are able to be more definitive and I will update the market as soon as we have the necessary information to hand”.

The primary target within the Early to Middle Triassic Lower Keraudren Formation sands was intersected as expected at approximate 13,648 feet (4,160 meters) MD, around 32.8 feet (10 meters) high to prognosis. Elevated gas readings were observed through this sand, with gas peaks being encountered from around 13,681 feet (4,170 meters) MD as the sands being drilled were cleaning up.

The equity interest holders (upon satisfaction of the farm in agreement terms) are:

  • Carnarvon Petroleum: 20 percent
  • Apache Energy (Operator): 40 percent
  • JX Nippon: 20 percent
  • Finder Exploration: 20 percent


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