Petsec sells out of Beibu Gulf

Rick Wilkinson
OGJ Correspondent

MELBOURNE, May 18 -- Sydney-headquartered Petsec Energy Ltd. is selling its interest in the CNOOC Ltd.-operated Beibu Gulf oil project in China to concentrate on US shale oil prospects.

The company said its $37 million share for developing the Chinese project would deliver better and earlier returns if applied to US shale oil operations.

Petsec does not yet hold any shale oil prospects, but intends to acquire leases onshore Louisiana and Texas during the third quarter this year and begin drilling during the fourth quarter.

Managing director Terry Fern said advances in horizontal drilling, hydraulic fracturing, and completion technologies now enables profitable extraction of oil from shales.

Fern said Petsec has relinquished all its US exploration leases with prospect sizes less than 20 billion cu ft of gas equivalent while retaining the larger hydrocarbon potential prospects.

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