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Apache Proceeds with Development of Balnaves Oil Field Offshore Western Australia

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Apache Corporation said that its subsidiary Apache Julimar Pty Ltd will proceed with development of the Balnaves oil field in Production License WA-49-L offshore Western Australia.

The field was discovered by Apache in 2009 during exploration and appraisal drilling in the Julimar-Brunello complex. Balnaves is a light, sweet oil accumulation in a separate reservoir in the Triassic Mungaroo formation, located adjacent to the large gas reservoirs of the Brunello gas field.

First production from the $438-million development is scheduled in 2014, with gross peak production of approximately 30,000 barrels of oil per day and estimated gross recoverable resource of 17 million barrels of oil and 30 billion cubic feet of gas. Two horizontal production wells will be connected to a floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel via subsea tiebacks. One water injection well will be used to maintain reservoir pressure. Gas will be reinjected into another reservoir for later production as part of the Wheatstone liquefied natural gas (LNG) Project.

Apache has agreed to lease the Armada Claire, an FPSO owned by Bumi Armada with production capability of 80,000 barrels of oil and 50 million cubic feet of natural gas per day and storage capacity for 750,000 barrels.

We are pleased to sanction our third operated oil development in Australia since 2007,” said Thomas M. Maher, Apache’s region vice president and managing director in Australia. “With the Van Gogh field on production and first output from Coniston expected in 2013, Balnaves will add to our position as one of Australia’s leading oil producers.”

The Julimar and Brunello fields are large gas discoveries that will be developed to provide gas for the Wheatstone LNG Project, operated by Chevron Australia Pty Ltd. Apache Julimar Pty Ltd is operator of the Julimar Development Project, the WA-49-L upstream component of the Wheatstone Project.

Apache Julimar Pty Ltd has a 65-percent interest in offshore license WA-49-L and a 13-percent equity interest in the Wheatstone project. KUFPEC Australia (Julimar) Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Co. k.s.c., owns the remaining interest in the offshore license and a 7-percent interest in the Wheatstone project.

Apache Corporation is an oil and gas exploration and production company with operations in the United States, Canada, Egypt, the United Kingdom North Sea, Australia and Argentina.

Original Article

Australia: Tap Oil Selling Zola Stake

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Tap Oil has put its stake in the big Zola gas discovery, which is likely to play a part in the expansion of Chevron’s $29 billion Wheatstone LNG project, up for sale.

It is understood the Perth company has engaged Miro Advisors to market the 10 per cent stake in Carnarvon Basin permit WA-290-P.

The decision comes just days after Chevron and its Wheatstone foundation partners, including Apache Corp, sanctioned development of a two-train 8.9 million tonne a year LNG operation near Onslow. The partners have regulatory approval for five trains.

The Zola-1 well, which is thought to have hit a field containing up to two trillion cubic feet of gas, is located within striking distance of the path of the Wheatstone trunk line, which will link the project’s fields with the Onslow LNG plant.

Apache (30.25 per cent) is the operator of WA-290-P.

Santos (24.75 per cent), OMV (20 per cent) and Nippon Oil Exploration (15 per cent) are the other equity holders and expected to be interested in Tap’s 10 per cent stake. It is unclear whether the WA-290-P partners hold pre-emptive rights over each other’s stakes.

Tap managing director Troy Hayden would not discuss his WA-290-P plans but pointed to the portfolio restructure that he started since joining the company in December.

“We are always trying to add value,” he said yesterday.

Zola’s attractiveness to other gas players will have increased now that Chevron has sanctioned Wheatstone because it provides a tangible development option for Zola’s gas. However, any go-ahead for Zola’s development, as part of Wheatstone’s expansion, is not expected for several years. The necessary delay is thought to have prompted Tap to try to realise its stake in the permit now.

By Peter Klinger, The West Australian

Original Article

Australia: Apache Wins Environmental Approval for Julimar/Brunello Gas Fields

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Apache Corporation said a subsidiary has received Australian government environmental approval for development of the Julimar and Brunello offshore natural gas fields that will supply natural gas to the Chevron-operated Wheatstone LNG project.

The Julimar and Brunello gas fields, discovered by Apache and Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Co. (KUFPEC) in 2007, are located offshore in exploration permit WA-356-P, approximately 180 kilometres (km) (112 miles) west-northwest of Dampier in Western Australia.

In 2009, Apache and KUFPEC joined with Chevron to develop the Wheatstone LNG hub. Apache and KUFPEC agreed to supply gas from their Julimar and Brunello fields and to become foundation equity partners in the Chevron-operated Wheatstone LNG project.

Balnaves

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The Balnaves field is located in License WA-356-P offshore Western Australia. Apache operates the license, holding a 65% interest; KUFPEC Australia holds 35%.

The Balnaves field is an oil accumulation in the Mungaroo formation in a separate reservoir beneath the large gas reservoirs of the Brunello gas field. Drilled in 2009 by the Stena Clyde semisub, the Balnaves-1 discovery well is part of a series of gas exploration and appraisal wells in the Julimar-Brunello complex. The discovery well encountered 64 feet (20 meters) of net oil pay in the B20 sand – a light, high-quality oil accumulation at a depth of 10,600 to 10,700 feet (3,231 to 3,261 meters).

The Balnaves-3 appraisal well test-flowed 9,076 barrels of oil and 13 MMcf/d of natural gas from a 16-foot (5-meter) perforated section, confirming good reservoir deliverability. Balnaves-2 was a sidetrack from the discovery, and Balnaves-4 was a sidetrack from Balnaves-3.

Field Development

The field will be developed through two horizontal production wells connecting to an FPSO via subsea tie-backs. One water injection well will be used to maintain reservoir pressure, while gas will be re-injected into another reservoir to produce through the Wheatstone LNG project. Apache will lease the Armada Claire FPSO, owned by Bumi Armada, for Balnaves’ development.

The vessel has a production capability of 80,000 barrels of oil and 50 MMcm/d of natural gas and storage capacity for 750,000 barrels.

Production is scheduled for 2014, with gross peak production of about 30,000 barrels of oil per day

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