Browse blocks have huge condensate, gas potential: Karoon

JUNIOR explorer Karoon Gas says recent seismic data indicates the potential for over 20 trillion cubic feet of gas and associated liquids in the company’s Browse Basin permits, WA-314-P and WA-315-P, which were recently farmed-out to Darwin LNG operator ConocoPhillips.
Browse blocks have huge condensate, gas potential: Karoon Browse blocks have huge condensate, gas potential: Karoon Browse blocks have huge condensate, gas potential: Karoon Browse blocks have huge condensate, gas potential: Karoon Browse blocks have huge condensate, gas potential: Karoon

All seismic data on the permits has now been processed and seismic interpretation is well underway, according to Karoon.

The company ran two seismic surveys - a 2D program using the Ramform Victory and a 3D program using the Pacific Sword.

“Results to date are encouraging, supporting the previous 2D interpretation of the potential resources in the permits,” the company said.

“On a risked basis, Karoon believes that the 2D seismic interpretation indicates the potential for over 20Tcf of gas and associated liquids. The interpretation process is expected to take a few more months to complete with final drillsite selection in the last half of this year.”

In parallel with seismic and geologic interpretation work, Karoon is also separately performing engineering work to assist in defining the potential resource characteristics and development options.

Karoon also separately commissioned WorleyParsons to carry out a conceptual review of the development options, and sales products based on gas samples from the Buffon-1 well drilled in 1981.

Based on the gas analysis in the WorleyParsons review, Karoon has calculated a potential condensate yield of 33 barrels per million cubic feet and a liquefied petroleum gas yield of 6.4 tonnes per million cubic feet, approximately doubling the total liquid content of previous estimates.

Condensate prices are similar to premium crude oil prices and LPG sells for about 80% of the crude price. A discovery of 1Tcf could possibly yield about 100 million barrels of condensate and LPG, according to Karoon.

“Any discovery that confirms this composition will have a major positive impact on the value of development revenue streams with total revenue contribution from LNG and liquids being approximately equal,” the company said.

“The Browse is a great basin for gas and condensate,” Karoon exploration manager Mark Smith told Petroleum magazine in a recent interview for an upcoming feature article.

“All the major structures are filled to spill with gas and they have high ratios of condensate to gas. The condensate is a huge bonus – it can fund the LNG developments.”

Karoon said this morning that before exploration drilling, it and ConocoPhillips would have an integrated interpretation incorporating all geological, geophysical and engineering data to select the best locations for drilling. When a drilling contract is secured, the market will be informed immediately.

The worm turns, belly up, in Gippsland

Meanwhile, in Karoon’s Gippsland PEP 162 permit, the company has decided after evaluating of the results of the Megascolides-1, Megascolides-1 sidetrack and Megascolides-2 wells, Karoon has decided it will not drill the planned third well Raniformis-1.

Megascolides is named after a threatened species of giant Gippsland earthworm, growing up to a metre long. Raniformis is another vulnerable species; it also known as the Southern Bell Frog.

“The analysis of these wells and regional data now clearly defines the main target, the Rintouls Creek Sandstone, as inadequate reservoir for the production of commercial hydrocarbons,” Karoon said.

“This is due to the very low permeability of the sandstone. Also, the sandstone is not always present over the PEP162 area with current seismic unable to clearly define its distribution.

“In all, this equates to an unacceptable exploration risk for the remaining leads. Karoon is pursuing other new opportunities with considerably higher potential and lower risk to complement Karoon’s acreage position in the Browse basin.”

For an in-depth look at the Browse Basin, including exploration and development plans, and potential for condensate and LNG, see the March issue of Petroleum magazine, due out at the end of next week.