Bonding for Cooper campaign

Australian companies Beach Petroleum and Stuart Petroleum have joined forces to undertake the drilling in December of the first wildcat oil exploration well in newly-accessed tenements in Cooper basin, South Australia.

The drilling of the highly prospective Acrasia-1 prospect in PEL 90 (formerly block CO98-E) will now be a joint venture between the two listed companies.

In a statement issued today, Beach and Stuart said Beach would acquire from Stuart a 25% interest in a portion only of exploration block CO98-E.

The joint venture formation follows the granting of Native Title agreements earlier this month that formally opened up tenements in the Cooper basin, relinquished by Santos and Esso three years ago, for exploration by other companies.

CO98-E is located primarily within the northeastern Patchawarra Trough, but the terms of today's agreement only relate to Beach acquiring a 25% interest in a 'farm-out block' in the southeastern corner of the tenement.

The farm-out block covers part of the 'Candra Dome', a prominent structural high that is primarily prospective for oil discoveries within the Eromanga and uppermost Cooper Basin sections.

"Initial exploration activity within the farm-out block will be the drilling of Acrasia-1 at Christmas time," Stuart Petroleum's operations director Rod Hollingsworth, and Beach Petroleum's chief executive Reg Nelson said.

"This well will test an anticlinal prospect, based upon 3D seismic data, 33.5 kilometres to the north-east of the Reg Sprigg-1 well, which was drilled in 1996 by Santos and encountered approximately 20 feet of net oil bearing sandstone in the Hutton sandstone and Tinchoo formation."

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