Apache to develop Balnaves oil and gas field offshore Western Australia

By Phaedra Friend Troy

American independent Apache Corporation (NYSE: APA) is moving forward with development planning on the Balnaves oil and gas field offshore Western Australia after successful wells proved the reservoir considerably productive.

After three successful appraisal wells on the Balnaves field, Apache has moved its operations there into field development planning.

Located on License WA-356-P, the Balnaves oil accumulation is located in the Mungaroo formation, which is a separate reservoir below the massive gas reservoirs of the Brunello gas field.

Discovered in 2009, the Balnaves-1 discovery well was a part of the drilling program on the Julimar-Brunello complex. The Balnaves-1 transected 64 feet of net oil pay in the B20 sand. The reservoir holds a light, high-quality oil accumulation at a depth of 10,600 to 10,700 feet total depth.

The Balnaves-3 test-flowed at a rate of 9,076 barrels of oil and 13 million cubic feet of natural gas from a 16-foot perforated section, which proves good reservoir deliverability.

The Balnaves-2 wells as a sidetrack from the discovery well, and the Balnave-4 was a sidetrack of the Balnaves-3 appraisal well.

"These four wells have demonstrated sufficient potential to enable Apache to start planning development," said Thomas M. Maher, Apache's region vice president and managing director in Australia. "We estimate gross ultimate recoverable oil could be in the range of 14 million to 19 million barrels."

The Julimar and Brunello are natural gas fields that, when developed, will provide natural gas to the Wheatstone LNG development, which is operated by Chevron. Apache is operating the upstream development of WA-356-P.

Apache, through its subsidiary Apache Julimar Ltd. Pty., holds 65 percent interest in WA-356-P and 16.25 percent interest in the Wheatstone project. KUFPEC, a subsidiary of Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Co., owns the remaining interest in the offshore license and 8.75 percent in the Wheatstone project. The companies’ interest might be reduced due to heads of agreements signed with Korea Gas Corp. for the purchase of LNG from Wheatstone and an equity stake in the project.



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