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    Hovea Oil Field to commence production

    Document date: Mon 09 Sep 2002 Published: Mon 09 Sep 2002 11:08:49
    Document No: 222635 Document part: A
    Market Flag: Y
    Classification: Progress Report
    ARC ENERGY NL 2002-09-09 ASX-SIGNAL-G

    HOMEX - Perth

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++
    ARC Energy NL (ARC) has today confirmed that the Hovea joint venture
    of ARC (50%) and Origin Energy Developments Pty Limited (Origin)
    (50%) will commence oil production from the Hovea 3 well as soon as
    the drilling operations at the well have been completed.

    The decision to move forward with the progressive development of the
    field has been made after the success of the three wells drilled to
    date on the Hovea Field. These are:

    * Hovea 1 - which discovered oil in the Dongara Sandstone reservoir
    in October last year and flowed oil at rates up to 1,880 barrels a
    day during production testing

    * Hovea 2 - which discovered a new pool of gas in the High Cliff
    Sandstone and flowed at high rates on DST (16.5 million cubic feet of
    gas a day)

    * Hovea 3 (ST1) - this well has confirmed the Dongara Sandstone oil
    pool with a substantial oil column. The well is currently being
    deepened to test the extent and nature of the Hovea 2 gas pool.

    Speaking at the Good Oil Conference in Fremantle today, Mr Eric
    Streitberg, Managing Director of ARC said:

    "We are delighted that our perseverance, and our belief in the
    prospectivity of the Perth Basin, has now led to success.

    Since discovering the Hovea Oil Field in October last year, the joint
    venture, with the cooperation and assistance of the West Australian
    Department of Mineral and Petroleum Resources (MPR), has been
    undertaking extensive production testing and development planning for
    the field.

    The confirmation of a substantial oil column in the Hovea 3 well
    means that, with the concurrence of the MPR, we can now put this
    planning into effect and immediately move forward with getting the
    field on to production.

    Our targets are to be producing the field at rates up to 2,500
    barrels of oil per day by December this year and moving up to 5,000
    barrels per day by early next year. Achievement of these production
    rates will generate very substantial cash flows for ARC and will
    allow us to aggressively explore the numerous other prospects we have
    in our licences.

    We will also be progressively refining our reservoir model over the
    next 6 to 8 weeks using the production data and the results of the
    reprocessing of the 3D seismic volume over the field obtained as part
    of the integration of this data with the adjoining Hibbertia 3D
    seismic volume. This will allow us to make a more definitive estimate
    of the potential reserves of the field.

    Further appraisal and development drilling is planned as soon as rig
    availability allows and the results of this drilling will also aid in
    establishing the long term production profile and reserves of the
    field.

    The Hovea development represents a number of very significant
    milestones for both the joint venture and for Western Australia,
    including Hovea being the first commercial oil discovery in the Perth
    Basin since 1966 and the first onshore oil field in WA to be brought
    into commercial production in the last 20 years.

    The Hovea Oil Field and the nearby offshore Cliff Head oil discovery
    have also opened up a large new oil fairway and rejuvenated
    exploration in the northern Perth Basin.

    ARC is excited, as a small Western Australian based oil company, to
    be a large equity holder and operator of what could potentially be
    the most prospective new oil play in Australia."

    For further information please contact Eric Streitberg on
    08 9486 7333 or Freecall 1800 337 330.

    Background information on ARC and ARC's assets is also available on
    ARC's website at www.arcenergy.com.au.

 
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