Beach Says Cooper Basin Wildcat Discovers Gas

One of the strongest gas flows recorded in the Cooper Basin area of South Australia has been achieved overnight on a new wildcat well drilled by Beach Petroleum Limited and its joint venture partner, Great Artesian Oil and Gas Limited.

Beach Petroleum reported a gas flow of 11 million cubic feet a day from a drill stem test of the Patchawarra Formation on the Middleton-1 discovery well 50 kilometers west of Moomba.

The flow - from a 10 meter interval between 2653 and 2663 meters depth - was through a choke size of 5/8" at the very strong flowing pressure of 1,170 psi.

The Company said the tested sands were interpreted to have approximately seven meters of net gas pay.

The joint venture believes that between three and nine meters of additional gas pay is likely in other sands.

"The high productivity of the Middleton test, combined with additional potential within the well and structure make Middleton one of the more exciting gas prospects in the Cooper Basin in recent years", Beach Petroleum's Managing Director, Mr Reg Nelson, said today.

"Further evaluation will need to be carried out, however, before the joint venture can obtain a truer picture of the gas reserves addressed within the Middleton structure."

The Middleton well is just six kilometers northeast of the Santos-operated Raven gas field and eight kilometers southeast of the Great Artesian-operated Smegsy gas field, only commissioned in recent days. The discovery follows on from Beach's recently drilled wildcat discovery, Udacha-1 itself only 5 kilometers to the northeast.

Mr. Nelson said the close proximity of the Middleton, Udacha, Smegsy and Raven fields was highly indicative of the region's gas potential and fell within Beach Petroleum's exploration model of pushing westwards from Moomba into the area's under-explored petroleum acreage.

Middleton-1 will now be cased and suspended to await appropriate completion equipment.

Participants in the Middleton-1 well are:
Beach Petroleum Ltd (Operator)* 50.00%
Great Artesian Oil and Gas Ltd 50.00%
* subject to commercial discovery