BPT 0.80% $1.27 beach energy limited

further gas exploration for portland

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    Further gas exploration for Portland
    March 28, 2007

    THE gas prospects of the south-west will be further explored with seismic activity occurring off the coast of Portland next month.

    Beach Petroleum will carry out the 3D seismic testing within 25 kilometres of the coast, with plans to begin drilling the best prospect early next year.

    The company is also set to search onshore for gas around Portland in the area known as PEP 150.

    An exploration permit for the field will be activated following the Gunditjmara's native title determination on Friday.

    ``It all fits in with our big push in the area this year,'' Beach's managing director Reg Nelson said. Several large structures have already been identified in the 1800 square kilometres of ocean, with early estimates slating it at four times the
    size of the Casino field near Port Campbell.

    ``It is a very substantial prospect. The structures we are looking at could yield about a trillion cubic feet (of gas),'' Mr Nelson said.

    ``In the short term it will create some (employment) opportunities, but more importantly the sourcing of gas will fuel local industry and rural businesses.''

    Meanwhile, Essential Petroleum Resources has lower expectations in the neighbouring PEP 151 field after an unsuccessful production testing drill. The permit covers 1722 square kilometres of south-west land, stretching across to the

    The region's first well, just north of the Lower Glenelg National Park near Dartmoor, was explored to about 2500 metres but failed to uncover any significant prospects.

    It wasn't a success . . . it was a disappointment to us,'' managing director John Remfry said.

    Essential was anticipating sourcing oil from the Pebble Point formation, about halfway down the drill.

    ``We have not deduced conclusively that Pebble Point doesn't have that potential, but it has diminished our interest (in exploring it) in the short term,'' Mr Remfry said.


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