ARQ steps up exploration

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    PERTH Basin specialist Arc Energy is undertaking busy drilling campaign. At least 30 wells are scheduled over the next 12 months, with several following up the major Denison three-dimensional seismic shoot, says managing director Eric Streitberg.

    The first well from the Denison 3D was Evandra. While reservoir quality was poor, Arc did hit a 20m oil-saturated interval. Production testing will confirm the size of reserves.

    "Some outsiders might see Evandra as not being particularly successful but we did learn a lot," said Streitberg.

    "Our predictive modelling told us there was a chance the reservoir would not be as well developed as Jingemia and Eremia. But we now know that the sweet spot of the reservoir is in the area of the Jingemia/Eremia trend and all to the north of there.

    "The key to all this is that it validated our exploration model because we intersected an oil column that was essentially indicated by mapping. It demonstrates that the model and the 3D is working for us."

    There is much more to learn from the Denison 3D, including the drilling of prospects that stand out as being from one million barrel targets, up to some similar in size to Hovea/Jingemia, around 5-10 million barrels.

    Gas is also a significant target for Arc, with the recently drilled Tarantula and Elegans wells adding to future production capacity and showing how the Perth Basin continues to reveal new hydrocarbon plays.

    Tarantula is a high-pressure, high flow-rate gas discovery that can be easily developed from a single well, while Elegans requires more intensive development.

    "Tarantula and Elegans are very different, but both are exciting," Streitberg said.

    "We plan to pursue both projects in parallel and make a development decision early next year, but Tarantula is a new play that we hadn't really anticipated, and that has positive regional ramifications as far as the gas program goes.

    "We want to step up exploration though we are at a limit of what we can do operationally with a full-time drilling program and intensive 3D seismic surveys."


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