Anzon Delivers First Oil from Basker Manta Project

The shuttle tanker, Basker Spirit, left the Basker-Manta project site in Bass Strait on January 11th with a 300,000 barrel load of crude oil. Bound for the Crib Point terminal in Westernport Bay for subsequent transfer to a tanker destined for international markets on Thursday, 12 January, the delivery caps a year of extraordinary progress for the project owners Anzon Australia Limited (AZA) and Beach Petroleum Limited (BPT). Following commissioning of production on 14 November, continuous production was established on December 8th and the Basker-2 well has subsequently averaged 8000 bbls per day solely from the upper interval of perforations.

With an estimated investment of $A280 million, the Basker-Manta project encapsulates a number of innovative initiatives:

  • It is the first Floating Production Storage Offtake (FPSO) development in south-east Australia enabling commercial development of a previously marginal oil field;
  • The project utilizes the first dedicated shuttle tanker in Australia; and
  • It is the first non-Esso/BHP oil production in the Gippsland basin.

Currently undergoing an extended production test of the Basker-2 well, the lower interval of perforations will be produced next week, prior to a commingled stream from the two intervals which will commence in February. The full field development, incorporating an additional four wells, is scheduled to come onstream in the third quarter of this year. Drilling of these wells is scheduled to commence next week. Anzon Australia has reported proved and probable oil reserves of 30.1 million barrels of oil based on the internationally recognized independent engineer's (Gaffney Cline & Associates) assessment after Basker-2 completed in October 2005.

The Basker-Manta fields, producing from the Victorian Production License L/26, were discovered by Shell in 1983. The oil reserves are contained in the Intra-Latrobe Group, while the deeper Golden Beach Group holds a contingent gas resource.

Anzon Australia Chief Operating Officer, Andrew Young, said today:
"The delivery of the first load of crude oil this week, worth an estimated $A25 million, is the culmination of an amazing effort for all concerned in 2005 and augurs well for our full development of the fields in 2006.

"The project has broken new ground in oil production in Bass Strait and the project partners recognize the support and cooperation of the Victorian Government, the National Offshore Production and Safety Authority (NOPSA) and contractor, Upstream Petroleum Pty Ltd. The effort of our numerous sub-contractors and vendors, predominantly Australian, has further contributed to the success of the project thus far, and underpins the pride of the Australian Joint Venture for this development.

"The transfer of crude oil from the Aframax shuttle tanker, Basker Spirit, to international markets will take place at Crib Point, one of four commercial jetties located within Westernport that Toll manages on behalf of the Victorian Government. The tanker to tanker transfer is the first ever conducted of this type in Victoria. Additionally this marks the reuse of the pier facility in handling Aframax size tankers, for nearly two decades. We anticipate the second shipment of crude to be delivered to an Australian refinery in early March."

The production system incorporates the innovative use of the unique FPSO Crystal Ocean with its triple redundant, dynamic positioning system, stationed near the Basker-2 well, and the 680,000 barrel capacity shuttle tanker, Basker Spirit, positioned at the disconnectable Single Point Mooring (SPM) allowing for the periodic shipment of crude to local and international markets.

A notable aspect of the project is its low environmental impact being a totally subsea development with minimum footprint offshore and no onshore footprint. The Crystal Ocean is a highly sophisticated vessel that combines state of the art technology with environmentally friendly oil production techniques.

The participants in the VIC/L26 Joint Venture are Anzon Australia Limited as operator with 50% and Beach Petroleum Limited with 50%.