PERTH -- Carnarvon Petroleum has been awarded a new exploration permit in the Bedout sub-basin offshore Western Australia.
WA-443-P (Carnarvon 100%) is adjacent to the company’s four existing permits in this area, WA-435-P, WA-436-P, WA-437-P, and WA-438-P, in which it holds 50% interests. These are known collectively as the Phoenix permits.
No wells have been drilled previously on WA-433-P, although one large mid-Triassic prospect has been identified – Jaubert – which is a faulted anticlinal closure. Carnarvon’s three-year work program includes re-processing and interpreting 1,400 km (870 mi) of existing 2D seismic. It will also conduct geophysical and geological studies.
The Bedout sub-basin is north of the Carnarvon basin. Six wells were drilled over this area in the 1970s and `80s, with Apache Energy drilling the most recent (seventh) well in 1995. According to Carnarvon, BP’s campaign in 1980-82 led to the discovery of two significant gas intersections in two wells on the Phoenix structure in WA-435-P.
Carnarvon says the gas columns in these wells indicate an active petroleum system in the area. Water depth at the discovery locations is shallow, at 100 m (328 ft). The permits are close to the coast, and around 150 km (93 mi) from the gas pipeline at Port Hedland, so a gas discovery could feasibly be commercialized.
The company has identified eight large leads and prospects on the acreage with multi-tcf potential. Next month it plans to start a 15,850-sq km (6,120-sq mi) aeromagnetic survey, followed in July by a 1,100-sq km (424-sq mi) 3D seismic survey and a 430-km (267-mi) 2D survey.
Resultant data will help evaluation of identified prospects and leads at a net cost to Carnarvon of A$3 million. Processing and interpretation should be completed during late 2010. Thereafter, Carnarvon will seek to farm out part of its interests for a financial carry through an exploration drilling program.