Origin Garners Permits in Bass, Canterbury Basins
Origin Energy Limited announced the following developments in its operated greenfield exploration areas in Australia, New Zealand, and Kenya.
Australia, Bass Basin
New Permit Offered to Origin 100%
The company has been offered a new exploration permit in the Bass Basin in respect of gazetted area T06-4 located immediately south and west of its existing permit T/18P in which the Trefoil and White Ibis gas discoveries are located. In accepting this offer, Origin will be committed to acquire 2D and 3D seismic and the drilling of an exploration well in the first three years of permit tenure. The permit is considered by Origin to be highly prospective for gas.
New Zealand, Canterbury Basin
Permits PEP 38262 and PEP 38264, Origin 100%
Origin acquired the 1231 km Carrack Seismic Survey in PEP 38262 in March 2006 and also applied for, and was granted adjacent permit PEP 38264 on 8 November 2006.
Based on new seismic results, Origin believes that an untested petroleum system may be developed in the deep water areas of the Canterbury Basin. Robust structural leads have been identified in both permits and these have the potential to hold very large volumes of oil and/or gas. Origin has contracted the seismic vessel CGG Duke to acquire additional 2D seismic (1,300 km Wherry Survey in PEP 38264 and PEP 38262, 910 km Caravel Survey in PEP 38262), with acquisition likely to commence in March 2007.
New Zealand, Northland Basin/Northern Taranaki Basin
PEP 38618 and PEP 38619, Origin 50% (Operator)
The acquisition of a large 2D/3D seismic program over existing leads and prospects in these permits has commenced using the seismic vessel Pacific Titan. As at 26 February, acquisition of the 432 sq km Nimitz 3D Seismic Survey in PEP 38618 was more than 70% completed. This survey will be immediately followed by the 1902 km Pantheon 2D Seismic Survey in the same permit, and the 1224 km Akira 2D Seismic Survey in adjacent permit PEP 38619.
Origin believes these areas are prospective for gas and in the event of exploration success, could help to alleviate New Zealand's looming supply/demand shortfall.
Kenya, Lamu Basin
PSC Blocks L8 and L9, Origin 75% (Operator)
Origin has successfully acquired the 3759 km Lamu 2D Seismic Survey in its offshore Kenyan permits L8 and L9 utilizing the seismic vessel Northern Explorer.
Seismic over some leads in Origin's permits appear to be associated with Direct Hydrocarbon Indications (DHIs). Processing of newly acquired seismic is expected to take at least four months to complete. A decision must be made in 3Q, 2007 to enter the Second Additional Period of these permits, which carry commitments to drill.
Commenting on these exploration developments, Origin's Executive General Manager Exploration, Rob Willink said:
"With interests being secured in new permits and new seismic becoming available for interpretation, we are entering a particularly exciting phase in the exploration of our more frontier assets.
"The potential for very large oil and gas discoveries has been identified, but as always, we remain conscious of the geological risk and high cost associated with exploration, in particularly in our deeper water areas. To this end, we have commenced a process of attracting experienced partners to participate in forward activities in these areas."
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