Pilot Energy confirms oil potential in Northern Carnarvon Basin permit (Australia)

Pilot Energy has confirmed the potential for multi-million barrel oil discoveries in its WA-507P exploration permit, located in Exmouth Plateau in Northern Carnarvon Basin off the Australia’s Northwest Shelf. 

Pilot Energy, the operator of the permit with 80% working interest, on Tuesday announced that an independent audit of prospective oil resources for its WA-507-P exploration permit had been completed.

Block WA-507-P covers an area of 1622 km2 over the Exmouth Plateau, some 300 km offshore Western Australia, in water depths of 1000 to 1500 meters.

According to Pilot Energy, Gaffney, Cline & Associates (GCA) has estimated prospective oil resources cases for the three exploration leads identified by Pilot Energy. GCA concluded that the leads were more likely to be gas bearing, with a 30% probability of oil versus a 70% probability of gas, consistent with the established nature of the gas play versus the emerging oil play.

GCA estimated the gross prospective oil resources to be 764 MMbbl (Best Estimate) in Dalia Updip, 381 MMbbl (Best Estimate) in Beta, and 436 MMbbl (Best Estimate) in Gamma lead.

Pilot Energy further said that regional well data and various studies supported the case for an oil play within Exmouth Plateau, with the Triassic Mungaroo source/reservoir interval having been deposited in an outboard, marine depositional environment over WA-507-P. This marine environment has positive implications for extensive deposition of oil-prone source rocks and good quality sandstone reservoirs, the company said.

Pilot Energy Managing Director, Iain Smith, said: “GCA’s findings clearly confirm the potential for the very large and previously quantified exploration leads within WA-507-P to be oil bearing. We look forward to progressing our geological understanding of the permit in order to further de-risk the exploration leads, as we work towards attracting a suitable industry partner to fund the future exploration program.”

Gaffney Cline Methodology

Pilot Energy explained that the GCA resource estimates were based on a GCA Mungaroo reservoir Depth Conversion utilising the interpretation performed by Pilot Energy on the its licensed 3D seismic data.

A Monte Carlo probabilistic calculation methodology was performed, with gross rock volume (GRV), reservoir parameter and engineering inputs. The GRV estimates were calculated by varying the area of closure only within WA-507-P. The reservoir parameters were based on a review of the inputs provided by Pilot Energy, and petrophysical information available in the well completion reports of adjacent wells. GCA analogue information confirmed the reasonableness of the oil expansion and recovery factors proposed by Pilot Energy. Additional geological and geophysical studies are required before the identified leads will be matured to prospects, Pilot Energy has added.

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