Origin Acquires Stake in WA 226P Offshore Australia

Origin Energy advises has reached agreement with Dana Petroleum plc and Black Rock Petroleum to earn 30% equity in the WA 226P Permit and assume Operatorship. WA 226P is located in offshore waters approximately 230km northwest of Geraldton and covers an underexplored extension of the northern Perth Basin. The prospectivity of this region has been upgraded by the recent oil discovery in the Cliff Head wells to the south. Only two exploration wells have been drilled in the permit to date, with Livet-1 encountering an interpreted residual oil column. To earn its 30%, Origin Energy will contribute on a promoted basis to the drilling of one well, required to be drilled by November 2002. The well is to be drilled on the Morangie structure, interpreted to have the potential to contain up to 250 million barrels of oil in place. Target reservoir is sandstones of the Wagina Formation below the Kockatea Shale regional seal, the same reservoir/seal relationship recorded in many other Perth Basin oil and gas fields, and the same as that recorded in Origin’s recently operated Hovea 1 oil discovery located onshore in Permit L1. Several follow up structures are also present in WA 226P. These will be evaluated following the drilling of Morangie. Commenting on the farm-in Rob Willink, Origin’s General Manager for exploration said “This is an exciting new phase for Origin, returning to operatorship of an offshore permit in Western Australian waters. The WA 226P permit is regarded as having good potential for commercial oil discoveries and fits well with Origin’s long-standing and recently acquired interests in the onshore Perth Basin where recent success has included the Hovea 1 oil discovery and the Beharra Springs North gas discovery. Origin is confident that it has secured a prime position in the basin and, with this opportunity and the recently acquired onshore 3D seismic program in Permit L1 and 2D seismic program in EP 413, is well positioned to move forward into a new phase of oil and gas exploration and development in the basin”. Participants in WA 226P following completion of the farm-in will be: Origin Energy as operator with 30.00%; Dana Petroleum with 52.00%; Black Rock Petroleum with 13.00% and Voyager Energy with the remaining 5.00%