ChevronTexaco Strikes Natural Gas Offshore Australia

ChevronTexaco has made a significant natural gas discovery at its Wheatstone-1 well, located offshore 110 miles west-northwest of Dampier in Western Australia.

A production test on the well, in retention lease WA-17-R, established a flow rate of 54 million cubic feet per day, which was constrained by rig equipment.

The lease is held 100 percent by ChevronTexaco affiliates ChevronTexaco Australia Pty Ltd and Texaco Australia Pty Ltd. The Wheatstone Field extends north into an adjacent permit, WA-253-P, where ChevronTexaco affiliates also hold a 100 percent interest.

George Kirkland, president of ChevronTexaco Overseas Petroleum, said, "This discovery underscores ChevronTexaco's strategy of focusing our exploration program on high-impact opportunities. Our continued exploration success in Australia, combined with our natural gas development plans, offers great prospects for gas customers, both in Australia and throughout the Asia-Pacific Basin."

Jay Johnson, managing director of ChevronTexaco Australia, said the Wheatstone discovery would be an important addition to ChevronTexaco Australia's gas resources. "The discovery further confirms the world-class gas resources offshore Western Australia and is the latest step in our ongoing efforts to explore and develop Australia's gas resources."

The Wheatstone-1 well was spudded on July 23, 2004, and drilled to a true vertical depth of 11,096 feet using the semisubmersible Transocean "SEDCO 703" drilling rig in water depths of approximately 700 feet.

The well encountered approximately 175 feet of net gas sands in the objective Jurassic Tithionian and Triassic Mungaroo AA sands within a 413-foot hydrocarbon column.

ChevronTexaco Australia is operator and joint-venture participant in the Gorgon development and permits in the Greater Gorgon Area, joint-venture participant in the North West Shelf Venture, and operator and joint venture participant in the Barrow Island and Thevenard Island oil fields, all located off the northwest coast of Australia.