Seismic survey completed for promising Victorian gas project

seismicBURGEONING ASX-listed oil and gas explorer WHL Energy has completed a 3D seismic survey at its shallow water La Bella gas and condensate joint venture in the Otway Basin, without incident and within budget.
Operating under exploration permit VIC/P67 on the Victorian coastline, 200km west-southwest of Melbourne, WHL focussed on the confirmation and 3D definition of La Bella, with secondary exploration concentrated on several nearby tenements.
WHL holds 40 per cent equity in VIC/P67 and primary partner AWE Limited earned the remaining 60 per cent by funding 75 per cent of the survey cost up to a cap of US$12 million.
Tap Oil has the option to acquire 10 per cent equity by investing 20 per cent of the survey cost up to US$2.95 million.
According to WHL, the La Bella gas field contains a 2C contingent resource of 117 petajoules of gas. Adjacent leads are reported to contain an additional 500PJ or more of recoverable gas.
Preliminary data analysis from the survey is expected in February, with the final fully processed data expected in May.
The tenements are surrounded by infrastructure, offering several potential commercialisation options if the project enters production.
WHL Energy managing director David Rowbottam said the company’s main achievement was completing the survey despite the region’s environmental and weather challenges.
“It is pleasing to have successfully completed the La Bella 3D seismic survey under very strict environmental guidelines,” Mr Rowbottam said.
“The Otway Basin is an area where seismic surveys have often not been successfully completed or run significantly over budget due to weather and/or environmental issues (cetaceans).
“We look forward to receiving the preliminary processed data in February and the final processed data in late May.
“This data will be used to define drilling targets for 2015 and for the subsurface definition and development planning of the La Bella contingent resource.”
WHL reportedly expects La Bella to provide substantial cash flow, with the project well positioned to capitalise on the anticipated rise of gas demand in Eastern Australia.