While Woodside continues its review of estimated reserves, Hardman told the Australian Stock Exchange yesterday that the existing production wells were “not likely to recover significantly more than 50% of the originally 2P (proven and probable) reserves estimate of 123 million barrels”.
“It is not possible at this time to provide a reliable estimate of complete 2P reserves, as this will have to take into account additional recovery from other future wells in a re-assessed development plan,” the company said.
Hardman said ultimate recovery would also depend on results from the proposed 4D seismic program in early 2007, as well as applying different technical solutions, including well designs, from those outlined in the original development plan.
Production at Chinguetti began in February at 75,000 barrels per day, but since that time has almost halved to a current rate of 35,000bpd.
Last week, Woodside chief executive Don Voelte told ABC’s Inside Business program that his company did not want to leave Mauritania “at this point”.
“In the first-half [of fiscal 2006] … we made just under $100 million on Chinguetti in earnings before tax,” he said.
“So it’s a very profitable business in that respect, if we learn how to get that oil out of the ground. That’s why we’re trying to crack the code.”