Apache's Zola-1 hits major gas column; development options being mulled offshore Western Australia

By Phaedra Friend Troy

US independent Apache Corporation (NYSE:APA) has logged 410 feet of net pay in three Triassic Mungaroo sands with its Zola-1 exploration well offshore Western Australia

Located in License WA-290-P, Zola-1 transected natural gas at a depth of 13,450 to 15,100 feet below sea level. Well logging confirms the well encountered at least two separate natural gas columns with excellent reservoir characteristics. 

Situated in waters measuring 930 feet deep, the Zola-1 discovery well is located about 60 miles north-northwest of Onslow, Western Australia, in the hydrocarbon-prolific Carnarvon Basin

Field Development Options 

"Although it is too early to speculate on reserve size, the quality and thickness of the reservoir is better than we expected," said Thomas M. Maher, Apache's region vice president and managing director in Australia. “After we finish operations on the Zola-1 well, Apache will begin discussing the way forward — including appraisal drilling and development options — with our partners." 

Zola-1 is located only 16 miles to the north of the massive Gorgon natural gas field and near existing and under-development natural gas infrastructure, which expands the development options for the field. Should Apache and its partners choose to link development with already existing infrastructure, the field could come on-line more quickly, and less expensively, than if the field required an independent development. 

According to Apache, the Zola-1 discovery is “on trend with the Gorgon gas field.” 

Apache Northwest Pty. Ltd., a subsidiary of Apache Corp., is the operator of WA-290-P with 30.25 percent interest. Project partners include Santos with 24.75 percent interest, OMV with 20 percent interest, Nippon with 15 percent interest and Tap Oil with 10 percent interest.

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