Central Petroleum Set to Receive 'Watershed' Western Amadeus Permit

Central Petroleum Limited said that Australia's Federal Ministry of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs has consented to the grant of EPA 115. Subject to the final sign off on the granting documents by the Northern Territory Minister of the Department of Primary Industry, Fisheries, Industry, Fisheries and Mining (DPIFM), the permit will be granted. Central anticipates this to happen shortly.

The permit will be the first exploration permit to be granted in the Western Amadeus Basin since the early 1980s and the granting will represent a watershed in the development of Central's plans to capitalize on oil discovery in central Australia. EPA 115 is a 13,000 km2 permit application in the Western Amadeus surrounding the Mereenie Oil and Gas Field and hosting a significant number of prospects and leads including the Johnstone oil Prospect thought by independents to potentially host up to 320 MMbbls of oil in place (high) in a 3-way dip and fault sealed closure of up to 55 km2 slated for early drilling by Central after some additional pre-drilling seismic is acquired and assessed. Prognosed depth to the main reservoir is only 1,700m. There has been little activity in this area since the mid 1980s when Magellan operated part of the area.

A recent assessment of old and new data by the Northern Territory Geological Survey (NTGS) and Young Consultants has concluded that the Pacoota Sandstone, the main Ordovician target reservoir at Johnstone, is anticipated to have increased porosity and permeability relative to that displayed by the same formation at the Mereenie Oil and Gas Field further to the east.

A second conclusion was that the prognosed oil source, the Horn Valley Siltstone, is anticipated to be richer and more oil prone in this vicinity than at Mereenie. A recent ASTER and aerial structural analysis on the Johnstone Prospect by independents Richard Russell and AGARSS concluded that 19 distinct zones showed color anomalies often associated with hydrocarbon seepage.

The permit hosts the Gypsum, Watson Range, Glen Edith, Cleland, Tarawarra, Johnstone North and other prospects and leads most of which are regarded as oil targets.