Beach has now acquired a 17.5% interest in VIC/P46, an Otway Basin permit near Portland, Victoria from the operator, Essential Petroleum Resources Ltd. This comes just a few weeks after Beach expanded its reserves by 5.8 million boe by taking a 25% farmin interest in Anzon Australia’s Basker, Manta and Gummy oil and gas fields in the Gippsland Basin.
Its new VIC/P46 block is adjacent to the Portland coastline and covers 1,800 square kilometres in water depths ranging from 50 to 200 metres.
Beach also plans to return to offshore Western Australian exploration in coming months, drilling a well in the Carnarvon Basin in joint venture with Santos Ltd and Kufpec Australia Pty Ltd.
Exploration on the new acreage would be primarily aimed at discovering gas in a geological formation that has proven successful elsewhere in the area, according to Beach managing director Reg Nelson.
“This success has included our own onshore gas production from producing fields in the Port Campbell region, and for other companies, commercial discoveries offshore at Casino, Thylacine and Geographe,” Nelson said.
Previous 2D seismic in the permit has identified several large gas prospects located relatively close to shore in relatively shallow water. The partners would probably acquire 3D seismic over the most prospective features in the second quarter of 2005 and would drill at least one exploration well in early 2006, according to Nelson.
“Success off Portland could be readily commercialised through a short connector to the SEAGAS pipeline or industrial users at Portland,” he said.
The company plans to drill a minimum of 11 wells between now and te end of June 2005.
Interests in VIC/P46 are: Essential Petroleum Resources (operator) 50%, Mitwell Energy Resources 32.5% and Beach Petroleum 17.5%