Woodside makes gas find in Pluto area off W. Australia

Woodside Petroleum Ltd., Perth, has begun on a high note in its greater Pluto area drilling campaign off Western Australia with a discovery in its second well, Eris-1.

Rick Wilkinson
OGJ Correspondent

MELBOURNE, Nov. 24 -- Woodside Petroleum Ltd., Perth, has begun on a high note in its greater Pluto area drilling campaign off Western Australia with a discovery in its second well, Eris-1.

The well, being drilled by the Songa Mercur semisubmersible, intersected a 60-m gross pay zone in the wildcat that will now be further evaluated with a view to early development.

The company said the earlier Pelion-1 well on the southern edge of Pluto field also carried good news. Although the well found the main mid-Triassic reservoir zones contained water only, the well intersected the Pluto gas reservoir higher than expected.

This could lead to an increase in resources at Pluto.

Woodside will now drill Noblige-1 near the earlier Martell discovery followed by wells on the nearby Larsen, Hine, and Dalia South prospects.

The proposed 20-well program is aimed at finding more gas to underpin the company’s planned second and third LNG trains at its Pluto onshore facilities on the Burrup Peninsula.

Woodside said the final cost for the foundation phase of the Pluto project had blown out by 6-10% above the $11.2 billion (Aus.) estimated at the time of the final investment decision in July 2007. This was due to lower than budgeted productivity in both the onshore and offshore construction work.

The Pluto project is now 82% complete and is still on schedule to come on stream with domestic gas at yearend 2010 and for first LNG from the 4.3-million tonne/year Train 1 early in 2011.

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