Woodside Unlocks Additional Gas Pay at Greater Pluto Area

During an investor briefing yesterday, Woodside Petroleum Ltd. confirmed that the company has made an additional gas discovery in the Greater Pluto Area offshore Western Australia at the Eris-1 well.

Potentially boosting reserves to the Pluto liquefied natural gas project, the Eris-1 well was drilled by Songa Offshore's Songa Mercur semisubmersible drilling rig, which struck 60 meters of gas in well-developed sands.

The Eris discovery well is one of 20 exploration wells Woodside is targeting to expand the Greater Pluto Area and could potentially be developed for the first LNG train under construction.

Additionally, Woodside noted that another recently completed well, Pelion-1, was water wet. The Pelion-1 exploration well was also drilled using the Songa Mercur semisub. Woodside has already secured Transocean's Jack Bates semisub, rather than the previously-advised Atwood Eagle, to drill the Noblige-1 exploratory well, the company confirmed.

Australia's second largest oil and gas company, Woodside has forecast that its full year oil and gas production for 2010 will fall between 70 million and 75 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe), with output guidance anticipated between 81 million to 86 million boe.