Bass Strait's Seismic Sizes Up Australia's Vic/P41

Bass Strait Oil Company Limited, as operator of the Vic/P41 Joint Venture, announced that data acquisition for the 2008 Vic/P41 offshore 2D seismic survey has been completed. Weather conditions for the survey were excellent and operations were completed without incident and with minimal downtime. Permit Vic/P41 is located in the offshore Gippsland Basin, approximately 40 km south of the eastern Victorian coast.

The 2008 2D survey recorded a total of 295 km of new seismic data in the east of the permit and has fulfilled the Vic/P41 Year 3 work program commitment, which calls for a 250 km 2D seismic survey by September 2009.

The joint venture has accelerated the Vic/P41 2D seismic commitment in order to better define the eastern area of the permit, where several leads are defined only on sparse existing data. The new data will now require processing, interpretation and mapping over the next several months or more. Integration of the 2008 survey results with existing data will provide an updated understanding of the area's potential.

This eastern area of Vic/P41 has not been targeted for significant exploration in the past, partly due to its being located further out in the Basin than existing producing fields. Also, at least in the southeastern corner of the permit, previous exploration was discouraged by increasing water depths that are now within reach of modern drilling rigs. When the Vic/P41 joint venture first acquired a reconnaissance 2D seismic survey in the east of the permit in 2003, it was the first seismic survey targeting this area since the 1970s.

While the Vic/P41 3D-defined prospects are ready to be tested, the timing of any potential drilling is dependent on the availability of a semi-submersible drilling rig slot in the Gippsland Basin (with current scheduling indicating potential availability in late 2009) and on the progress of farmout negotiations.

The Vic/P41 joint venture partners are Operator Bass Strait Oil Company Ltd with 45%, Moby Oil & Gas Limited with 30% (reducing to 25% subject to farmin by OBL), Eagle Bay Resources NL with 25% (reducing to 17.5% subject to farmin by OBL) and Oil Basins Limited with 12.5% (subject to farmouts by MOG and EBR).