Apache confirms interest in permits after discovery

Adrian Cook Carnarvon managing director Adrian Cook.

APACHE Energy has recorded what its project partner says is a significant discovery in a permit area offshore Western Australia, though the amount of recoverable oil found has not yet been disclosed.

Project partner Carnarvon Petroleum told the Australian Securities Exchange that the confirmation of four discrete oil columns at the Phoenix South 1 well was “one of the most significant developments in Australian oil and gas in recent times.”

Preliminary permeability estimates at the permit area indicate the potential for a productive reservoir, the company said, with six oil samples recovered with API gravity of 46 to 48 degrees.

“Further technical evaluation of log and core data will enable Carnarvon and its and even partners to be in a position to make that information public by the end of 2014,” the company said.

Carnarvon managing director Adrian Cook said he was still assessing the implications of the discovery for the remainder of the company’s acreage.

“Despite some initial challenges and setbacks, this well has delivered a significantly better outcome than any of us could have imagined,” he said.

The news came as Apache exercised an option to take 40% equity in the neighbouring WA-436-P and WA-438-P permit areas, with Carnarvon to retain a 30% interest.

In exercising the option, Apache and project partner JX Nippon confirmed being served they would drill the Roc prospect in WA 437 P, agreeing to pay earn-in costs to a cap of US$70 million.

Carnarvon managing director Adrian Cook said he expected the Roc well would be drilled in 2015 with an Apache-contracted jack-up rig.

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