Santos to Begin Nockatunga Drilling Program

Magellan says that the Operator for the Nockatunga assets (PL 33, 50 & 51 and ATP 267P), Santos Ltd, reports that the EIES Rig 20 has commenced mobilization to Petroleum Lease 33 in South West Queensland and will shortly commence operations on the first well in a three well oil delineation and exploration program to be conducted within PL 33, PL 51 and ATP 267P for the Nockatunga Joint Venture parties. The three initial well locations have been selected following the interpretation and mapping of the 3D seismic survey acquired by the Joint Venture in the area last year. Further drilling is being planned for the area in 2006.

The first well, Winna-4, will target the Murta Member in a location updip of the Winna-2 well which encountered a thin oil column. An open hole Drill Stem Test (DST) in Winna-2 recovered some 1.6 barrels of oil. At the time of drilling (1987) this small oil recovery was deemed to be sub-economic and the Winna-2 well was plugged and abandoned. Following acquisition and interpretation of the 3D seismic data, it has been established that there is an economically attractive potential attic of oil located updip of the Winna-2 well location.

The Muthero-3 delineation well and Currambar-1 exploration well will be drilled following the Winna-4 well. Information on these wells will be provided closer to their respective spud dates.

Winna-4, which is expected to spud over the coming weekend, will take some 11 days to drill, case and suspend.

Participants in the Winna-4 well are Santos Ltd as operator with 59.064% and Magellan Petroleum (Eastern) Pty Ltd with 40.936% (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Magellan Petroleum Australia Limited).