Austral Pacific Says Cardiff and Cheal Show Early Promise

The Cardiff-2 well (Austral 25.1%, operator) has now drilled through the first reservoir sandstone within the Kapuni Formation. The McKee Sand was intersected at the expected depth below 4,000m (13,000 feet), with significantly elevated levels of gas recorded during drilling, as predicted. The McKee Sand is the first of a number of gas-bearing sandstones within the Kapuni Formation that are expected to be intersected before the well reaches TD near 4,900m (16,000 feet) later this month. The Kapuni Formation will then be cased in preparation for perforation of intervals selected by evaluation of electric logs, for initial flow-testing. The well has also penetrated the second major Kapuni sand target below 4130m (13,550 feet) where a pressure kick has been encountered.

Electric log indications of pay within the Mt Messenger interval higher in the well around 1700m (5,500 feet) depth will not be further evaluated in this well, but will provide valuable assistance in future exploration for Mt Messenger oil and gas traps in this area.

The Cheal-4 well (Austral 36.5%, operator) is now in test production, using jet pump technology to aid in lifting the oil. Technical challenges associated with the viscous nature of the oil, and the need to maintain the well and its related processing and storage facilities at high temperature, are being addressed. The well initially averaged 240 barrels of oil and 100 MCF gas per day. As the well heats up and wax cutting techniques are optimized, it is expected that these figures will be increased substantially. Cheal-A3X is presently being used as an observation well to monitor the effects of Cheal-4 on the field, but will similarly be brought into production in the near future.

Drilling of the Miromiro-1 well (Austral 27.5%) is expected to commence this coming weekend. Miromiro will take approximately two weeks to reach its 1930m (6,400 feet) Target Depth.

Following a further pressure test on Kahili-1A/B, the well will shortly be shut in for an extended period for a long-term pressure build-up while future action on the well is considered, as this well cannot maintain viable production in its present configuration. The joint venture is also reviewing the drilling of a Kahili-2 well, targeted higher on the Kahili structure, about 600m (2,000 feet) north of the Kahili-1A/B intersection.