Apache First Discovery in Australia's Offshore Canning Basin

By Joseph R. Fonseca
Monday, August 18, 2014
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Apache Corporation  today announced an oil discovery at the Phoenix South-1 well - the company's first discovery in Australia's offshore Canning Basin.

Wireline and formation pressure tools have confirmed at least four discrete oil columns ranging in thickness between 85 and 151 feet (26 to 46 meters) in the Triassic Lower Keraudren formation, within an overall, sand-rich section between 13,648 and 14,763 feet below sea level (4,160 to 4,500 meters).

Six light oil samples have been recovered from three intervals to date; permeability measurements from the sampled zones indicate a productive oil reservoir with preliminary estimates that there might be as much as 300 million barrels of oil in place.* Evaluation of the formation penetrated in the Phoenix South-1 is under way, and final calculation of hydrocarbon pay will depend on additional analysis.

The Phoenix South-1 well is located in permit WA-435-P,  offshore western Australia, 110 miles (180 km) north of Port Hedland in 435 feet (133 meters) of water. Apache has a 40-percent interest and operatorship of WA-435-P and the adjacent permit WA-437-P; co-venturers are Carnarvon Petroleum (20 percent), Finder Exploration (20 percent) and JX Nippon (20 percent). 

Apache also has exercised its option to acquire 40-percent interest and operatorship of two additional adjacent permits (WA-436-P and WA-438-P) for a total position of more than 5 million acres (20,000 square kilometers).

The area includes a number of large, undrilled structures, including the Roc prospect on WA-437-P, with potential to be
significant additional oil accumulations.  Further drilling and evaluation is planned for 2015.

"Although evaluation is at an early stage, Phoenix South-1 is an exciting result," said Thomas E. Voytovich, Apache's executive vice president and chief operating officer - International. "The oil and reservoir quality we have seen point to a commercial discovery.  If these results are borne out by further appraisal drilling, Phoenix South may represent a new oil province for Australia. We look forward to working with our partners to continue evaluation of the area."

* Oil in place estimate based on 10th percentile probability.

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