Central Petroleum successful tender for Old applications

03 November 2007 | 06:02 Code : 15789 Geoscience events
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Central Petroleum Ltd - one of Australia's largest net onshore acreage holders....

  Central Petroleum Ltd - one of Australia's largest net onshore acreage holders with permits, subject to grant, spanning more than 250,000sqkm - has emerged as the successful bidder for three exploration permits in Queensland with areas totalling 14,000sqkm.The company’s wholly owned subsidiary, Merlin Energy Pty Ltd, was recently notified by the Queensland government that it was the preferred tenderer with priority to apply for a title grant over ATPs 909, ATP 911 and ATP 912 in the Queensland portion of the southern Georgina basin, which hosts oil and gas targets in Middle to Late Cambrian petroleum systems. These application areas totalling c.14, 000sqkm complement an existing application area in the Northern Territory, EP (A) 132, which falls in the same geological terrane. The Queensland applications are part of Central's exploration strategy of gaining an early-entry position into under-explored prospective onshore basins of central Australia, with the accompanying aim of building up "whole-of-basins" positions. Commenting on Central's tender success in Queensland, the company's Founder and Managing Director, John Heugh, said: "As probably the single largest net acreage holder in the Georgina basin, our Queensland bid represents a natural extension of our strategic position in central Australia." Moreover, spreading our acreage exposure also lowers our overall exploration risk while raising our number of targets in a basin that is reasonably well known to us courtesy of the landmark technical research done by our Geology Manager, Greg Ambrose ," Mr. Heugh said. Although under-explored, the GeorginaBasin hosts a rich Cambrian petroleum system which has been well documented. The area is believed to have generated more than 40 billion tons of hydrocarbons in its lifetime. In the Northern Territory portion of the Georgina basin, there have been some 20 exploration wells drilled, with 13 of them yielding live oil shows, despite the absence of adequate seismic definition at the time. The Georgina basin is largely oil-prone, although Central's Queensland holdings are partially adjacent to Ethabuka-1, which flowed a small amount of gas from the Kelly Creek Formation. Not surprisingly, oil will be the main target on the shelf updip of this syncline, as drilling to date has consistently yielded oil shows and indications of oil migration.

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