Successful Production Test of Casino-3 Gas Well

Santos has conducted a successful production test of the Casino-3 well offshore Australia in the Otway Basin.

The production test measured gas flow over the primary reservoir zone encountered in the Casino 3 well to confirm reservoir flow characteristics.

The successful test means that Santos and its joint venturers can now finalize reservoir modelling and commence detailed project engineering with a view to first production in 2006.

The test flowed at the maximum choke-constrained rate of 1.25 million cubic meters per day (45 million standard cubic feet per day) through a 25.4 millimeter (one inch) choke at a well head tubing pressure of 12,686 kilopascals (1,840 pounds per square inch). The test was conducted over the interval 2,004 to 2,013 meters.

"This is a promising result consistent with the core and log data collected in the well and our pre-drill expectations. This is a key milestone in the future development of the Casino gas field," said Santos Managing Director, Mr. John Ellice-Flint.

The successful production test follows on from the earlier announcement that Casino-3 had intersected a 20-metre net gas column in the target Waarre sandstone and that a single gas pool connects Casino-3 with the previously drilled Casino-2 well.

The well will be plugged and abandoned as planned following the completion of testing operations.

Santos and its joint venture partners have already successfully concluded a long-term gas contract with TXU Australia to supply gas from the Casino field. The contract is conditional on the final results of the Casino-3 well and the confirmation of economic reserves for the Casino field and regulatory approvals.

The Casino gas field - first discovered in September 2002 - is located about 29 kilometers southwest of Port Campbell and 250 kilometers southwest of Melbourne. The Casino-3 well is located approximately 3.3 kilometers northeast of Casino-1 and 2.4 kilometers northwest of Casino-2, which both intersected gas bearing Waarre sandstone reservoirs.

Participants in the VIC/P44 permit are Santos Limited as Operator with 50.0%; Peedamullah Petroleum Pty Ltd (Australian Worldwide Exploration) with 25.0%; and Mittwell Energy Resources Pty Limited (Mitsui) with the remaining 25.0%.