Octanex Seeks Retention Lease for Ascalon Gas Find Off Western Australia

Australia's Octanex N.L. disclosed Monday that a location has been declared over the Ascalon gas discovery in WA-407-P petroleum exploration permit in Southern Bonaparte Basin, offshore from Western Australia. The declaration is an initial step in obtaining a retention lease over the discovery.

The Ascalon gas accumulation is located approximately 289 miles (465 kilometers) west of Darwin in water depths of less than 328 feet (100 meters) and in proximity (around 37 miles or 60 kilometers) to the Ichthys to Darwin pipeline. The location covers 11 graticular blocks within the WA-407-P petroleum exploration permit, in which Octanex holds a 100 percent interest.

Drilled by Mobil in 1995, the Ascalon-1A discovery well recovered gas to surface; proving the presence of a large dry gas accumulation within sandstones of the Late Permian, Cape Hay Formation of the Hyland Bay Subgroup.

The Ascalon-1A well, located some 656 feet (200 meters) off the crest of the structure, intersected a gross gas column of 479 feet (146 meters). The discovery has been subsequently mapped on the modern Ascalon 3D Marine Seismic Survey, acquired by Octanex in 2012, and on reprocessed vintage 2D seismic data.

The Ascalon Location also encompasses the separate discovery made by the Saratoga-1 well, which encountered a 28 foot (8.5 meter) gas column in the overlying Early Cretaceous, Sandpiper Sandstone Formation.

The commerciality of the Ascalon gas discovery will be determined by further engineering assessment and future gas market conditions. A retention lease work program will be designed to analyze and monitor both of these factors.

Octanex's Chief Operating Officer, Rae Clark, said today "The declaration of a location over the Ascalon gas discovery is a key step in positioning Octanex as a future participant in the growing global LNG (liquefied natural gas) market. This will be enhanced if Ascalon can take advantage of its close proximity to the Ichthys gas pipeline to Darwin or other nearby undeveloped gas accumulations. The next step is to secure a retention lease over Ascalon to enable Octanex to retain its interest in the discovery."


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