Tapping into Carnarvon for future growth, but Jacala-1 delayed

THIS year, Tap Oil plans to spend about $A23.5 million drilling and appraising its Carnarvon Basin assets, focusing on both near-term and long-term production. However, drilling of the Jacala-1 exploration well has been suspended due to recent cyclone activity.
Tapping into Carnarvon for future growth, but Jacala-1  delayed  Tapping into Carnarvon for future growth, but Jacala-1  delayed  Tapping into Carnarvon for future growth, but Jacala-1  delayed  Tapping into Carnarvon for future growth, but Jacala-1  delayed  Tapping into Carnarvon for future growth, but Jacala-1  delayed

Tap Oil told shareholders during a presentation that it plans to use its “very strong balance sheet” to grow the company by establishing a portfolio of growth opportunities.

This includes mature production areas such as the Harriet and Woollybutt Areas where new reserves can be quickly tied in to maintain cash flow, high-quality appraisal opportunities where lower risk appraisal wells are drilled, and frontier areas such as the Jacala permit.

Drilling of the Jacala-1 well, which spudded last Friday, has been suspended due to operational problems setting the conductor and evacuating personnel from the Atwood Eagle rig due to cyclone activity.

Subject to no further adverse weather, the well is expected to respud by the end of the week, partner Roc Oil said today.

Located in WA-351-P, Jacala-1 is a high-risk, high-reward well targeting a potential 500 million barrels of recoverable oil.

The well, which has a planned total depth of 2322m, is targeting a large four-way dip structure and the reservoir is interpreted to be in Barrow Sandstones at a depth of 2106m.

If successful, the Jacala prospect could be brought onto production by 2010, following several years of appraisal and development.

Elsewhere in the basin, Tap Oil said the Harriet joint venture is planning to drill a further 10 wells this year. Last year, the HJV drilled 13 exploration and three development wells. Six of the wildcats successfully discovered oil columns, three of which were brought on to immediate production.

“The HJV made reasonable progress in 2005 with additional oil production being added from a number of new wells,” Tap Oil managing director Paul Underwood said.

“And there is significant remaining potential for new reserves and fast tie-in production opportunities in this acreage during the exploration program for 2006.”

In addition, Underwood said there was “excellent potential” for large discoveries in the deeper target zones.

“I was hoping to be able to bring a discovery to our shareholders this year via the drilling of the Marley-1 exploration well,” he said.

“Unfortunately, this long-awaited well did not reach its target depth due to drilling difficulties and hence this well will have to be revisited later in 2006.”

However, Underwood said the Marley prospect remained one of Tap Oil’s most exciting opportunities to add long-term growth in production.

Meantime, he said good progress was last year made on extending, appraising and developing the Woollybutt Field.

Woollybutt-4 extended the southern lobe of the field to the west of Woollybutt-3A. The Scalybutt-1H well was completed as a horizontal production well, with first oil arriving in late December, and the Woollybutt-5 appraisal well discovered more oil in the southern mapped extent of the southern lobe, in two zones.

Underwood said this activity has resulted in booking additional reserves in the northern lobe, with the southern lobe now being evaluated for development.

The Woollybutt Field is expected to be producing until at least 2009, with the floating production, storage and offloading vessel lease arrangements renegotiated to cover this period.

The Woollybutt-6 well is expected to be drilled this year to finalise the development plan and prove the reserves and column height in the middle of the Woollybutt South Field.

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