Beach JV to Drill South East's First Oil Exploration Well in Six Years

The first onshore exploration well in six years to specifically target oil in the South East of South Australia, has been scheduled for mid-November by Beach Petroleum Limited.

Cowrie-1, in which Beach (Operator) and Origin Energy each have a 50% interest – will be drilled to a depth of 1,400 meters in pastoral country 25 kilometers southwest of Naracoorte and within PEL 27 in the Otway Basin.

PIRSA records show that there has been no drilling onshore for oil in that part of the State since the Jacaranda Ridge-1 well in 1999 discovered a waxy crude oil play in the Sawpit Sandstones formation – although the discovery was not commercialized.

"Our objective is the Sawpit Sandstones and we will be drilling about 17 kilometers from the Jacaranda Ridge site," Beach Petroleum's Managing Director, Mr. Reg Nelson, said.

"The province already hosts a number of nearby gas production wells and the area's stratigraphic structure is favorable for oil," Mr. Nelson said.

Cowrie-1 is expected to take about 12 days to drill to its Total Depth of 1,408 meters.

Beach has contracted the Century 7 rig, currently drilling near Port Campbell in western Victoria, to drill Cowrie-1.

Mr. Nelson said site preparations had already been completed and the rig is expected to be mobilized and assembled on site three or four days ahead of the drill start.

The rig structure will be fully washed down prior to its departure from Port Campbell and entry in the Coonawarra area with approximately 50 trailer loads of equipment and materials required to be transported to the site near the Killanoola Tank.