Apache to develop Balnaves oil field offshore W. Australia

Apache Energy has finally committed to development of the Balnaves oil field offshore Western Australia.

At peak, the $438 million (Aus.) project will produce 30,000 b/d of oil. Start of production is slated for 2014.

Production will be via two horizontal wells connected to the floating production, storage, and offloading vessel, Armada Claire.

There also will be a water-injection well to maintain reservoir pressure. The associated gas produced will be reinjected into another reservoir for later recovery as part of the Wheatstone LNG project.

Balnaves was discovered in 2009 with Balnaves-1, which was drilled as part of a series of gas exploration and appraisal wells in the Julimar-Brunello complex. Balnaves-2 and Balnaves-3 confirmed the find, while the Balnaves Deep-1 drilled in March also aided delineation of the new field.

Apaches estimates recoverable resources of 17 million bbl of oil and 30 bcf of gas in the Triassic-age Mungaroo formation reservoir (OGJ Online, Oct. 14, 2010).

The Armada Claire FPSO, owned and operated by Bumi Armada of Malaysia, can produce up to 80,000 b/d of oil and 50 MMcfd of gas. It has a storage capacity of 750,000 bbl.

The vessel will remain on station for an initial 4-year contract with an option for a further 4-year extension.

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