Woodside, Chevron add to gas finds off W. Australia

Rick Wilkinson
OGJ Correspondent

MELBOURNE, Aug. 17 -- Woodside Energy Ltd. and Chevron Corp. have announced their second separate gas finds in as many weeks on the North West Shelf off Western Australia.

Woodside followed a recent announcement of its Exmouth Plateau discovery at Alaric-1 in WA-434-P (OGJ Online, Aug. 16, 2010) with a find at Larsen Deep-1 in WA-404-P. Chevron, meanwhile, added to its Brederode-1 gas find in WA-364-P (OGJ Online, Aug. 13, 2010) with its Acme-1 gas discovery in WA-205-P.

Larsen Deep-1 has intersected a 50-m gross gas column over several zones within the Triassic age reservoir target and is currently drilling ahead at 4,914 m towards a planned total depth of 5,030 m.

The well, being drilled by the Ocean America semisubmersible rig, is in the permit immediately north of the giant Jansz gas field, which is being developed by a joint venture of Chevron, ExxonMobil Corp., and Royal Dutch Shell PLC as part of the Gorgon LNG project on Barrow Island.

Wireline logging to obtain pressure data and gas samples will await the completion of drilling.

However the result is good news for Woodside as the find is just 9 km from the company’s existing discoveries at Martell-1, Noblige-1, and Larsen-1 in the same permit.

Woodside is anxious to prove up sufficient gas reserves to serve as feedstock for its planned Trains 2 and 3 for the Pluto LNG project.

Chevron’s Acme-1 find, drilled by the Ensco 7500 semisubmersible rig, is in the permit immediately west of the company’s Gorgon gas field in the same permit as its recent Clio gas find.

Acme is Chevron’s ninth discovery off Western Australia in the last 12 months. The company says the discovery will underpin potential expansion opportunities at its proposed Wheatstone LNG hub.

Wheatstone is currently planned as an initial two-train, 10 million tonne/year LNG project, but the company has sufficient land at Ashburton North south of Onslow for a five-train project with a total capacity of 25 million tpy of LNG.

A final investment decision on Wheatstone is expected next year.

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