Apache makes major oil discovery off Western Australia

Apache Corp. has made an oil discovery with its Phoenix South-1 well, drilled 110 miles north of Port Hedland in 435 ft of water in permit WA-435-P of Australia’s offshore Canning basin. The company estimates as much as 300 million bbl of oil could be in place.

Wireline and formation pressure tools have confirmed at least four discrete oil columns ranging 85-151 ft in thickness in the Triassic Lower Keraudren formation, within an overall, sand-rich section between 13,648-14,763 ft below sea level, Apache says. Six light oil samples have been recovered from three intervals to date.

“Although evaluation is at an early stage, Phoenix South-1 is an exciting result,” commented Thomas E. Voytovich, Apache executive vice-president and chief operating officer, international. “The oil and reservoir quality we have seen point to a commercial discovery. If these results are borne out by further appraisal drilling, Phoenix South may represent a new oil province for Australia.”

Apache operates WA-435-P and adjacent permit WA-437-P with 40% interest. Its partners are Carnarvon Petroleum 20%, Finder Exploration 20%, and JX Nippon 20%.

Apache also has exercised its option to acquire 40% interest and operatorship of the WA-436-P and WA-438-P permits, giving the company a total position of more than 5 million acres.

The area includes several large, undrilled structures, including the Roc prospect on WA-437-P, with potential to be significant additional oil accumulations, the company says, adding that additional drilling and evaluation is planned for next year.

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