3D Oil begins FEED work for West Seahorse oil field

3D Oil Ltd., Melbourne, has begun front-end engineering and design work for its planned $86 million (Aus.) West Seahorse oil field development in Bass Strait off Victoria.

Rick Wilkinson
OGJ Correspondent

MELBOURNE, Apr. 9 -- 3D Oil Ltd., Melbourne, has begun front-end engineering and design work for its planned $86 million (Aus.) West Seahorse oil field development in Bass Strait off Victoria.

This follows a comprehensive review of the most likely economic development options for the field, which lies in near-shore permit Vic/P57. The company says 2P reserves are 5.3 million bbl with a further 3.4 million bbl estimated as contingent resources.

3D Oil’s preferred development option comprises a subsea well tied to shore via an subsea pipeline. From there, production would be sent to a crude processing plant or to an existing third party’s facilities.

The company believes the subsea option will result in the lowest capital and operating costs and maximize recovery from the field.

The FEED contract’s first of three stages will be undertaken by WorleyParsons and will involve concept finalization. WorleyParsons will review the pipeline-to-shore options that include a flexible steel pipeline that can be installed by workboat without the need for a pipelay-barge.

The second stage will comprise full FEED of the finalized concept and further development of the engineering, while the third stage will be an extended FEED process to further develop the project to a bankable feasibility concept.

3D Oil expects to award the second and third stage contracts shortly with a view to completing the process during this year’s third quarter and making a final investment decision by yearend. Production is expected to come online in 2012.

West Seahorse was originally discovered in 1981 by the Hudbay-Beach Energy group, but was deemed to small to be commercial at the oil prices of the day. The field lies 2 km west of ExxonMobil Corp. and BHP Billiton’s producing Seahorse field, which was discovered in 1978.

3D Oil has 100% of the project and is comfortable with continuing in that vein. The company, however, is actively looking for a farmin partner for help with exploration of its Felix prospect further east in the same permit. Felix is believed to hold as much as 100 million bbl of oil.

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