Aussie venture to develop offshore Chinese oil field

A ROC Oil-led joint venture is finalising a development plan for the Wei-12-8-West oil field in the Beibu Gulf, offshore China, south-west of Hong Kong.
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The consortium of Australian companies includes Roc, Horizon Oil, Petsec Australia and Oil Australia, a First Australian Resources subsidiary.

The company told the ASX this week that discussions were continuing with various government authorities and other interested parties on this and other possible Chinese projects.

As operator of the block 22/12 joint venture, Roc said it hoped to submit a development plan for the field to the Chinese government by the end of July. A final investment decision was expected by October.

Planning was also continuing for the drilling of at least one exploration well in the block before the end of the year, subject to rig availability, said Roc chief executive officer John Doran.

The joint venture estimates recoverable reserves of 18 million barrels to 23 million barrels over its three oil field candidates in block 22/12, Horizon CEO Brent Emmett told

The estimate includes six to 10 million recoverable barrels in Wei-12-8, 13 million in the Wei-12-8 east and five to 10 million in Wei’s 6-12-1 field.

Roc was continuing to evaluate opportunities for potential new ventures, including the onshore Fushun area, in Liaoning Province in northeastern China, Doran said.

“Roc Oil is one of the very few independent western oil companies actively operating in China,” Doran said.

“We have learnt is that it is easy for western companies and their shareholders and other investors, to prematurely attach a high degree of importance to each of the various milestones that all China-based projects must pass before coming to fruition.

“During the last few working days Roc Oil has been very pleased to pass a couple more of these milestones en-route to what it hopes will be a number of profitable projects in China. However, in each case, a lot more work needs to be done before we reach the end of the individual project journeys.”

Horizon Oil is also looking at other Chinese opportunities. It has a 100% interest at the 3845 square kilometre Leidong block 24/05 to the east of its Beibu Gulf operations.

“We are currently reprocessing existing seismic data from that area and expect to start exploratory drilling next year,” Emmett said.

Block 22/12 joint venture: Roc Oil (operator) 40%, Horizon Oil 30%, Petsec Energy 25% and First Australian Resources 5%.