Perth, Aug 7, 2014 AEST (ABN Newswire) - WHL Energy (ASX:WHN) (WHLRF:OTCMKTS) well positioned to feed gas hungry Australian market Economists and energy analysts are forecasting a major gas shortage and an associated leap in gas prices along the east coast of Australia.
This has opened the door for junior oil and gas company WHL Energy to become a potentially important participant in the east coast energy equation through its operatorship of the VIC/P67 exploration permit that includes the La Bella gas field, located in the Otway Basin off the Victorian coast. Discovered in 1993, La Bella sat relatively idle until WHL Energy successfully bid for the surrounding VIC/P67 permit in May 2012.
Since then the company has poured a significant amount of man power into undertaking geological and gas marketing studies, in parallel with a rapidly heating up market looking for new gas supplies. That market need and the fact that La Bella is ideally located close to key pipeline and gas processing infrastructure, proved a significant attraction for successful Australian oil and gas producers AWE Ltd and Tap Oil, which farmed into VIC/P67 in September 2013.
The Joint Venture quickly moved to acquire the 928 km2 state-of-the-art La Bella 3D seismic survey over VIC/P67 in late 2013 and recently achieved another key milestone with the receipt of the fully processed final Seismic Volume from that survey.
While further assessment of the wealth of data generated is being undertaken, WHL Energy Managing Director, David Rowbottam, says the results to date have provided great encouragement. "We saw positive results during the initial interpretation of the La Bella 3D Seismic data which has boosted our confidence in the commercial potential of the wider VIC/P67 permit and reduced the geological risk of a number of features in the portfolio, Mr Rowbottam said.
"To date this information has helped define a portfolio of 11 prospects across VIC/P67 containing total best estimate Prospective Resources of 610 Bcf of gas and 14.1 MMbbls of condensate and LPGs."
Mr Rowbottam says that WHL Energy now believes these features, along with the La Bella field, could form a core gas development in VIC/P67 subject to further confirmation by successful exploration drilling.
"The information provided to date has already provided the VIC/P67 JV with enough confidence to move forward to contract Aztech Drilling to undertake the next phase of the well planning, which includes the initial phase of seeking relevant regulatory approvals, rig procurement and well design."
WHL Energy has also participated in a significant 3D seismic acquisition programme off the coast of the Republic of Seychelles, in an area that has been assessed to have billion barrel oil potential. The 1,528 square km Junon 3D seismic survey was paid for by its Joint Venture partner Ophir Energy under the terms of a farmout agreement concluded earlier this year.
Data from the survey, only the third 3D seismic survey acquired in the Seychelles and the first in the WHL/Ophir exploration area, is now being processed with an initial fast track processed data set expected to be delivered in September and a Pre-Stack Time Migration processed volume expected to be completed in December.
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About WHL Energy Limited
ASX-listed WHL Energy Ltd (ASX:WHN) (OTCMKTS:WHLRF) is an emerging oil and gas company with high value assets in Australia and the East African region. The company's "flagship" assets are its "ready-to-develop" La Bella gas and condensate field off the south coast of the Australia within the VIC/P67 acreage and a large petroleum exploration acreage position, held at 25% equity, off the southern coast of the Republic of the Seychelles.
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