Central Petroleum to Start Up Australian Drilling Program
Subject to the success of a major capital raising planned for Q3/4 2005, with Martin Place Securities Sydney, Central Petroleum will exercise operating rights over 140,000 sq.km. of prospective ground in central Australia and aims to use the development of very large appraisal and exploration prospects to drive infrastructure development in the area. Examples of the prospects planned to be drilled in the Amadeus Basin in ex-Santos ground include the Murphy South prospect, estimated by the Northern Territory Geological Survey to have potential for up to 5 trillion cubic feet of gas. The prospect is a sub-salt play analogous in concept to the giant Siberian and Sichuan Basin fields. It is correspondent with the Magee 1 discovery that tested Helium at 6.2% in gas recovered at surface. Helium is used in the aerospace, medical, diving, metal manufacture and the welding industries and for specialized applications in superconductors and in 2004 sold in the USA in the range of US $54 - 65 per thousand cubic feet in bulk volumes. BOCS has recently announced plans to build the southern hemisphere's first helium plant for export at Darwin.
Central has established farmout agreements with White Sands Petroleum of up to a 15% interest in Central's 100% controlled EP 93, EPA 92 and PELA 77. These farmouts are promoted to the 22.5% level (1.5) and give the Company access to the latest technology in hydraulic top-drive land rigs that have automated pipe handling and offer improved standards of safety. The first two wells planned by the partners will be the Avalon and Blamore prospects, estimated by independent consultants to have potential for 118 MMbls recoverable oil at P50 level at modest depths of less than 2,000m in the onshore Madigan Trough of the Pedirka Basin. The two prospects have shown numerous potential Direct Hydrocarbon Indicators (DHIs) in seismic analysis and related source rock analysis points towards oil dominated petroleum systems.
White Sands Petroleum is an Australian company that has imported the first of these high-tech drilling rigs into Australia that will give the benefits of deep drilling capacity, mobility and reduced operating costs. Drilling rigs for oil exploration and development are currently in very short supply and so the deal with White Sands Petroleum gives Central several advantages in the competitive E and P industry including access to suitable rigs, a farmin partner with considerable technical expertise in engineering, geology and geophysics and the underscoring of the intrinsic value of the prospects to be drilled. White Sands Petroleum is managed by Don Schofield and owned at the 25% level by the ASX listed Bounty Oil and Gas managed by Tom Fontaine.
The Company will continue to promote judicious farmouts as appropriate as exploration progresses to hedge risk and to bring other potential advantages particularly in the form of technology and access to suitable equipment and expertise.
Central is chaired by Dr Henry Askin who was Exploration Manager for Shell Development
(Australia) from 1990 to 1997 and who also headed the Shell International seismic analysis
unit in the Hague for several years.
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- Central Petroleum Completes Seismic Campaign in South Georgina Basin (Oct 17)