PTTEP to appraise Cash-Maple gas field

Rick Wilkinson
OGJ Correspondent

MELBOURNE, Feb. 18 -- Ten days after approval to keep its Australian licences, PTTEP applied for environmental approval to drill two wells at the Cash-Maple gas field, north of the Montara oil spill site in the Timor Sea.

The two wells—Cash-2 and Maple-2—are appraisals of early BHP Petroleum discoveries now held by PTTEP in retention lease AC/RL7. The company flagged their potential for a floating LNG project and is using the new wells to evaluate gas reserves.

There were earlier reports PTTEP would form a $1 billion joint venture with the Linde Group and SBM Offshore N.V. to design and develop an FLNG vessel for the Cash/Maple field. Linde and SBM would provide technical design advice and study the project in detail while PTTEP would continue appraisal drilling and assess reserves.

The wells will be drilled by Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc’s Ocean Patriot semisubmersible rig, beginning in April.

Cash-2 is 2.3 km northeast of the Cash-1 discovery and will evaluate the northern section of a faulted anticlinal structure with primary reservoir objective of the Jurassic-age Montara and Plover Formations.

This will be followed by Maple-2 whose well site is not yet finalised. Both wells will be drilled to total depths of 4,200 m and take 45 days each.

PTTEP holds 80% of AC/RL7 and is negotiating to acquire the 20% interest of its joint venture partner, Cue Energy Resources Ltd. of Melbourne.

The fields lie 700 km west of Darwin and 200 km southwest of the Bayu-Undan field.

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