AEC makes Timor Sea oil discovery


AEC International (Australia) Pty. Ltd., a subsidiary of Alberta Energy Company Ltd., Calgary, today announced an oil discovery in the Timor Sea on the North West Shelf off Western Australia.

AECI Australia is operator of the Puffin-5 well on AC/P22 Block with a 60% working interest. Its partners are units of WestOil NL (20%) and Norwest Energy NL Ltd. (20%).

"Initial test results indicate that AECI Australia and its partners have discovered a high-quality oil reservoir," said parent company AEC. "Core samples, log data, and preliminary drill stem test results indicate that the reservoir is highly permeable and may be very productive."

The drillstem test had to be terminated earlier than planned as a result of "mechanical difficulties and production testing equipment not being on site to control the unexpected sand production from unconsolidated sand in the reservoir," said AEC. While oil flowed to surface during the drillstem test, no stabilized production flow rate data were obtained.

Wireline logs indicate that the well cut 9.4 m of net oil pay. AEC proposes to suspend Puffin-5 as a potential producer. It is assessing plans to drill an appraisal well in the late third or fourth quarter of 2000 to confirm the discovery's commercial viability.

Puffin-5 was drilled 1.1 km from the Puffin-1 well drilled by ARCO in 1972 and 9 km from the Puffin-2 oil discovery drilled by ARCO in 1974. Puffin-2 flowed 4,608 b/d of oil from a separate Puffin Group sand.

The Puffin-5 discovery is 75-85 km southwest of the production at Jabiru and Challis oil fields. It was drilled 250 km offshore to 2,414 m TD by the Ocean General' semisubmersible drilling rig in 104 m of water.

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