MEO seeks partners for Heron

MEO Australia wants to farm-out part of its NT/P68 permit in the Bonaparte basin, in the Timor Sea off Australia’s Northern Territory.

Offshore staff

MELBOURNE, Australia -- MEO Australia wants to farm-out part of its NT/P68 permit in the Bonaparte basin, in the Timor Sea off Australia’s Northern Territory.

The 5,900-sq km (2,278-sq mi) exploration permit, owned 100% by MEO, is in the first of a three-year firm work program requiring acquisition of 3D seismic and other studies.

MEO is limiting the farm-out to the 3,700-sq km (1,428-sq mi) area containing the Heron gas discovery and other prospectivity – the company claims the potential resources could host an LNG scale gas development. It plans to retain the Blackwood gas discovery, however, where it also has a 100% interest.

Heron-2 was drilled into the Heron North structure in 2007/08. Drilling had to be halted prematurely for technical reasons, without the well encountering a gas/water contact (GWC).

MEO believes the interpreted gas column could extend another 210 m (689 ft) below the base of that well to the interpreted structural saddle which extends to the nearby offshore Evans Shoal gas field.

Most gas discoveries in this region are filled to their structural spill points, it points out. Heron-2 flowed gas to surface during an open-hole drillstem test during which the hole bridged off just below the uppermost sand interval being tested, which precluded any contribution from deeper in the hole.

Gas quality recorded during this test was inconsistent with the more liquids-rich gas observed in the mud returns seen while drilling the lower section of the hole.

As part of the farm-out terms, MEO proposes drilling two further appraisal wells – one on Heron South and another on Heron North – to determine whether the Greater Heron structure has sufficient gas and quality to underpin an LNG development. 

Both wells will be designed to evaluate the potential of the entire structure. The three main aims will be to:

• Evaluate areas interpreted to contain better porosities than those observed in Heron-2, based on seismic inversion studies

• Determine the depth of the GWC in both Heron North and Heron South

• Conduct a production test of the wells to analyze reservoir productivity and gas composition

MEO says various companies have indicated interest.

10/14/2010

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