Sydney, Jan 12, 2006 AEST (ABN Newswire) - Beach Petroleum Limited (ASX: BPT) has announced the maiden sale of oil from the Company's first offshore production.
The sale of more than 121,000 barrels of oil will net Beach Petroleum revenue of around A$10 million, with the crude oil being sold into international markets.
The Company's entitlement is part of a larger consignment of 300,000 barrels of oil landed at the Crib Point terminal in Westernport Bay, east of Melbourne today, aboard the shuttle tanker, the Basker Spirit.
The sold consignment is the first production offtake from the Basker Manta joint venture in the Gippsland Basin of Bass Strait, in which Beach and Operator, Anzon Australia Limited, each have a 50% interest.
Anzon announced today that the total value of the maiden Basker Manta cargo, all from the initial Basker-2 development well - was around A$25 million, of which Beach is entitled to about 40%.
From January 1 this year, Beach Petroleum will have a half share entitlement to all field production from Basker Manta, after progressively moving in the past six months to a 50% stake from a 25% initial interest in the project, its first offshore production in Australia.
"This is a milestone for our company and a highly successful start to our strategy to build offshore production as a new cornerstone of our business," Beach Petroleum's Chief Operating Officer, Mr Hector Gordon, said today.
"Significantly, our maiden Basker Manta sales have been achieved within an ongoing high oil price and oil demand environment, and this augurs well for the opening sales and development period of this project," Mr Gordon said.
"With the Basker Manta oil now in play, it marks for Beach Petroleum, an exceptional start to calendar 2006, supported by a well balanced and strongly performing suite of both onshore and offshore production and exploration assets," he said.
The second shipment of crude from the Basker Manta field is anticipated to be delivered to an Australian refinery early in March.
The Anzon-Beach JV commissioned the Basker-2 production on 14 November last year with the well, since early December, subsequently averaging 8,000 bopd solely from the upper interval of perforations.
With an estimated investment of $A280 million, the Basker-Manta project encapsulates a number of initiatives: - It is the first Floating Production Storage Offtake (FPSO) development in southeast Australia, enabling commercial development of a previously marginal oil field - The project utilises the first dedicated shuttle tanker in Australia, and - It is the first non-Esso/BHP oil production in the Gippsland Basin.
Currently undergoing an extended production test of the Basker-2, the lower interval of perforations will be produced next, prior to a commingled stream from the two intervals which will commence next month.
More than doubles daily production
Mr Gordon said that the Basker-Manta entitlements had more than doubled Beach Petroleum's total daily oil production.
Beach's entitlement of 50% from the offshore project from January 1 this year, is in addition to the Company's previous daily outputs of around 2,800 bopd from its onshore Cooper Basin interests.
The Company's daily output is set to climb even more rapidly as four additional development wells are scheduled for drilling on Basker Manta over the next six months - the first of them from next week. All four such wells are due in full production by the third quarter of this year.
The Basker-Manta fields, producing from the Victorian Production Licence L/26, were discovered by Shell in 1983. The oil reserves are contained in the Intra-Latrobe Group, while the deeper Golden Beach Group holds a contingent gas resource.
Anzon estimates proved and probable oil reserves of 30.1 million barrels of oil based on the internationally recognised independent engineer's (Gaffney Cline & Associates) assessment after Basker-2 completed in October 2005.
Crib Point is a Victorian government facility that has been under-utilised for many years, and is operated by Toll Western Port which has facilitated the transfer of the crude oil from the Aframax-type Basker Spirit to other tankers - the first ever such transfer of this type in Victoria.
The transfer also marks the first reuse of the Crib Point pier facility in nearly 20 years, in handling Aframax size tankers.
Hector Gordon Beach Petroleum Limited 08 8338 2833
Kevin Skinner Field Public Relations 08 8234 9555 / 0414 822 631