Apache commits to new Australia oil development

Apache Julimar will start development planning for the Balnaves oil discovery off Western Australia following three successful appraisal wells.

Offshore staff

HOUSTON -- Apache Julimar will start development planning for the Balnaves oil discovery off Western Australia following three successful appraisal wells.

Balnaves, in license WA-356-P, is an oil accumulation in the Mungaroo formation in a separate reservoir beneath the gas reservoirs of the Brunello field.

The recent Balnaves-3 appraisal well test-flowed 9,076 bbl of oil and 13 MMcf of natural gas from a 16-ft (5-m) perforated section, confirming good reservoir deliverability.
Apache drilled the Balnaves-1 discovery last year as one of a series of gas exploration and appraisal wells in the Julimar/Brunello complex.

The well encountered 64 ft (19.4 m) of net oil pay in the B20 sand; the company describes this as a light, high-quality oil accumulation at about 10,600-10,700 ft (3,230-3,260 m) below sea level.

Subsequently, Balnaves-2 was drilled as a sidetrack from the discovery, and Balnaves-4 as a sidetrack from Balnaves-3.

"These four wells have demonstrated sufficient potential to enable Apache to start planning development," said Thomas M. Maher, Apache's region vice president and managing director in Australia. "We estimate gross ultimate recoverable oil could be in the range of 14-19 MMbbl."

Julimar and Brunello are large gas discoveries that will be developed to provide gas for the Wheatstone LNG project operated by Chevron Australia.

Apache Julimar Pty. will operate the design and construction phases of the WA-356-P upstream part of the Wheatstone project.

The company has a 65% interest in license WA-356-P and a 16.25% interest in Wheatstone.

10/14/2010

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