Woodside is now estimating that the first Pluto LNG cargo will be in March 2012. This is said to be due to slower than expected progress commissioning the onshore gas plant and weather delays. This revision is expected to result in a $1 billion increase in total project cost to $16 billion. Bad weather has also contributed to a delay in the North West Shelf Oil Redevelopment Project. The project, which includes installation of the Okha FPSO vessel, is now scheduled for start up in October.
BHP Billiton Petroleum (North West Shelf) exercised its right to pre-empt the sale of a 25% interest in the Carnarvon Basin's WA-351-P, offshore Western Australia, by joint venture partner Tap Oil to Japan Australia LNG (MIMI) for $30 million. BHP Billiton has now acquired the stake on the same terms offered, which includes payment of Tap Oil's 20% share of the next exploration well in the permit. Troy Hayden, MD and CEO of Tap, believes that will be in 1H 2012.
Tallaganda, high graded as an attractive lead, straddles WA-351-P and WA-335-P and has a prospective resource range of 0.8tcf to 1.3tcf of gas.
Meanwhile Santos has acquired a 75% interest from Octanex in permits WA-323-P and WA-330-P in the Carnarvon Basin that host the large shallow water Winchester prospect in a geological setting similar to the recent Zola gas discovery. Santos, as operator of both permits, has three years to drill the lead. Octanex, under the farm-in, will be freecarried in respect of its 25% interest through the 3D survey, the first well and other exploration costs, excepting follow-up wells.
The Finucane South-1A exploration well in the northern end of the Carnarvon Basin in permit WA-191-P, has had LWD (logging while drilling), wireline logs, sampling and pressure testing confirm a new oil field discovery, encountering some 18.5m of quality net oil pay. Finucane South-1A, 15km east of the Mutineer facility, was drilled by the semisubmersible Stena Clyde to identify additional resources to supplement the adjacent Fletcher field.
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