Beach gets nod for exploration off Albania

Rick Wilkinson
OGJ Correspondent

MELBOURNE, Feb. 4 -- Beach Energy Ltd., Adelaide, and its joint venture partner San Leon Energy have finally received approval from the Albanian government to begin exploration on Durresi Block off the country’s Adriatic coast.

The application has taken 3 years to process.

Beach farmed into the 4,200 sq km permit in December 2007 attracted by a yet-to-be-appraised deepwater gas-condensate discovery as well as a number of undrilled prospects and leads. The find lies within the Apulian carbonate margin formation that has proven petroleum potential and extends right across the Adriatic from Italian territory into Albanian waters.

The discovery, simply known as A4-1X, was made in 1993. The Beach group will begin work by acquiring 300 sq km of 3D seismic data over the field and the surrounding exploration targets. This will be followed by appraisal drilling in 2012.

Beach says the discovery has the potential to contain up to 150 bcf of gas and 38 million bbl of condensate.

Beach has 25% interest. San Leon Energy subsidiary Island Exploration is operator with 75%.

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