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ARQ Drilling Program Update 12/6/02

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    12 June 2002


    As previously advised, Century Rig 24 is currently being rigged up on the Hovea 2 location and the anticipated spud date is around 16 June 2002.

    Drilling Program
    As previously advised (refer ASX release 23 May 2002 available on the ARC website), interpretation of the Hovea 3D seismic data has identified an opportunity to cost-effectively test, from the same surface drilling location, both the Dongara/Wagina oil pool discovered by the Hovea 1 well and the underlying deeper reservoir objectives. The program will consist of an initial vertical well to test the deeper section, and then a subsequent sidetrack well, from the same surface location, to test the Dongara/Wagina section at an optimum crestal location. The Hovea 2 vertical exploration well is being drilled in a position where ARC interprets it may not intersect the Dongara/Wagina section. If the Dongara/Wagina section is not encountered, it is planned that after the vertical well is logged and evaluated, it will then be plugged back and sidetracked. The sidetrack will be aimed to intersect the Dongara/Wagina oil pool in a crestal location in the structure. If a substantial thickness of the Dongara/Wagina section is encountered in the vertical well, because the fault position is somewhat further to the east than currently mapped, the vertical well will still be deepened to test the deeper objectives and a decision on the sidetrack will be made at the time. Drilling of the Hovea 2 well and any sidetrack will be operated by Origin as part of the L1/L2 farmin agreement. ARC will be carried for the first $1,500,000 of expenditure in the program. Evaluation Program and Disclosure of Results In accordance with ARC’s previous procedures, drilling reports will be released to ASX on each ASX trading day during the well. A prognosed time/depth curve for the vertical well is attached. It is intended that the Dongara/Wagina reservoir section will be fully cored when it is encountered. The planned nature of the coring program and the planned preservation of the cores for further analysis may preclude a definitive interpretation of the presence of hydrocarbons until the subsequent wireline logging and testing program has been eted. Due to the materiality of these well results to the ultimate size of the reserves at Hovea, it considered that the information released to the market should be as complete as possible. Consequently, it is the Company’s present intention to call a trading halt of its shares at the time the reservoir is encountered. If a definitive interpretation of the well results is not possible during the maximum two day period of a trading halt, the Company will consider requesting a suspension of its shares for a further period until complete information is available. As part of the Hovea 2 evaluation program it is intended that a production interference test will be conducted between the Hovea 1 well and the new reservoir intersection. The Hovea 1 well has therefore been shut-in for a pressure build-up survey prior to the test. This period will also allow analysis of the results of the most recent production test where the well produced some water. The water production is in accordance with the existing reserve and the associated reserves estimates, which predicted that with the particular production test program that was undertaken, water breakthrough was likely to occur at a relatively early stage due to the excellent permeability and porosity of the reservoir and the proximity of the Hovea 1 well to the oil/water contact.

    The Hovea 2 well is a unique and exciting opportunity to cost effectively test both the upside to an existing oil accumulation and a large upside exploration prospect. The Company looks forward to a successful outcome for its shareholders.


    Not long now!! Good luck to all holders. Check ARC's website for the time/distance chart.
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