The sun never sets on the Ottoman Empire

PERTH-based junior Ottoman Energy has built a far-flung international exploration portfolio with acreage in Turkey, the Philippines and Argentina, and is expecting first production from two of its projects next year, managing director Jaap Poll told the Excellence in Upstream Energy conference in Sydney this morning.
The sun never sets on the Ottoman Empire The sun never sets on the Ottoman Empire The sun never sets on the Ottoman Empire The sun never sets on the Ottoman Empire The sun never sets on the Ottoman Empire

In each case, Ottoman is targeting proven hydrocarbon provinces but Poll says the company’s three regions of operations have different risk/reward profiles, providing balance to its portfolio.

Poll categorises Ottoman’s Turkish assets as low risk, good reward, its Philippine acreage as moderate risk, high reward, and its Argentinean block as high risk, ultra-high reward.

When Ottoman floated in December 2004, its focus was very much on the onshore Thrace Basin in Turkey.

“The Thrace Basin is a proven hydrocarbon province with local energy markets,” Poll said.

“Turkey has high gas prices of about $US6 – double the Australian price. Royalties are only 2.5% and corporate tax is just 20%.

“The typical gas composition is simple, requiring minimal processing and the basin offers shallow, easily accessible targets.”

Ottoman discovered gas in its first Turkish exploration well – Bati Umur-1 – and plans to run more seismic surveys and drill two more wells in this block in the fourth quarter of this year.

Another Perth junior, Incremental Petroleum, has farmed-in to Ottoman’s Edirne block and Ottoman will be free-carried through $A3 million of exploration by its new partner.

The company added offshore Philippine acreage to its portfolio early last year. While the North West Palawan Basin is a proven petroleum province, it is so lightly explored that it can still be considered frontier territory.

The company plans to achieve first oil early next year from redevelopment of its 50% held Calauit field.

Ottoman aims to achieve early cash flow from oil production at Calauit to sustain ongoing exploration and development in the SC 51 and SC 55 licenses, Poll said.

Poll said the prospects in these licences were in “elephant country”, with the deepwater SC 55 in particular on trend with recent giant oil discoveries off Borneo.

“There’s so much exploration potential in those two blocks that we would need all of the Calauit cash flow to fund us through that, unless we farmed-out further,” he said.

The company aims to farm-out the giant deepwater Marantao prospect in SC 55 after completing further seismic surveys over the next couple of months.

In Argentina, Ottoman agreed last November to acquire a 32.48% interest in the Santa Rosa Block in the inland Cuyana Basin.

While the western part of the Cuyana Basin has been estimated to have originally contained 1.2 billion barrels of oil, the eastern part – containing the 7694 square kilometre Santa Rosa block – has been under explored, he said.

Under the farm-in agreement with Canadian-based Oromin Energy, Ottoman will fund a $US1.4 million drilling program consisting of two or three wells drilled to a 1250m depth on the crest of the Santa Rosa dome – a structure mapped during recent seismic surveys, according to Poll.

The dome could contain more than a billion barrels of oil, he said.

“The area has relatively low exploration and development costs and for a relatively modest cost and 32% of the deal, we've good a good chance of significant oil production,” he said.

“Argentina offers many other onshore opportunities, which will be evaluated with Oromin upon success at Santa Rosa.”

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