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Central Petroleum technical note highlights central Australia conventional oil and gas potential

Central Petroleum (ASX: CTP) has released a technical note on conventional hydrocarbon plays in the Southeastern Georgina Basin and has provided an update on its drilling program in the Pedirka Basin in central Australia.

The Southern Georgina Basin has recently become the focus of interest in unconventional oil and gas plays related to acreage held by Central Petroleum and Petro Frontier Limited.

However there is considerable potential for the discovery and exploitation of conventional oil and gas systems.

A technical note by Dr Jacque Sayers and Greg Ambrose titled “Conventional Hydrocarbon Plays in the Southeastern Georgina Basin” concludes, inter alia, that:

- Both conventional and unconventional plays are important in the southern Georgina Basin.

- The latter have been widely discussed in the context of Canadian initiatives in the Southern Georgina and the Officer Basins (Petro Frontier and Rodinia respectively).

- Conventional plays could be of comparable importance with exploration targets in the range of hundreds of millions of barrels of oil UOIIP.

- The technical note for the first time describes high energy clastic channel facies in Central’s acreage which are important stratigraphic targets in the basin.

- The dominant lithologies in the section comprise low porosity/permeability rocks including important source rocks, but “pockets” and “stringers” of porous clastics are highly rated targets.

- The newly recognised channel facies will high grade areas of perceived prospectivity. This is important in quiescent tectonic regimes (such as the Bradley Shelf) which often harbour large undisturbed stratigraphic plays in many basins around the world (eg the giant Messla field in Libya – 12 Bn. barrels OIP).

- The incision and submarine channels noted suggest deeper water turbidite fans and splays so distributary channels will form part of the sedimentary architecture.In a basinward direction – these facies are massive producers in many basins around the world (eg offshore Kalimantan).

- This study is basically the first step in addressing conventional plays in this area and will be later assisted by seismic structure mapping with an emphasis on seismic stratigraphy and sedimentary facies mapping. Data gained via unconventional programmes will assist in this and vice versa.

Drilling Update

Central is progressing its drilling program for the year with ADS Rig 6 anticipated to become available in mid to late September.

The company expects final details of the drilling contract are expected to be completed and the contract executed in the next week to ten days.

The campaign is planned to include:

- the re-entry and testing of Surprise-1 for oil potential (“best” or P50 UOIIP 10 MMbbls) in both conventional and unconventional horizons;
- drilling of the Mt Kitty prospect, a sub-salt 2 TCFG UGIIP (“best” or P50) gas/condensate/helium prospect; and
- the drilling of Madigan-1, the first well on a giant structure in the Pedirka Basin with UOIIP (“best” or P50) potential of over 4 billion barrels based on preliminary mapping of new seismic acquired in 2010.

Seismic acquisition and future drilling plans over a number of play types are also being evaluated including:

- the Surprise-Johnstone area in EP115 for conventional and unconventional oil exploration or development;
- the Madigan and Pellinor Devonian reefal carbonate plays in the Pedirka and;
- unconventional and conventional oil and gas potential within the Central’s Southern Georgina Basin Arthur Creek Shale and Thorntonia Limestone plays, subject to grant.

Central’s Queensland ATPs 909, 911 and 912 immediately adjacent to PetroFrontier’s Southern Georgina Basin, are anticipated to be granted during the second half of 2011 and may receive early attention from the company.

EPA 132 in the Northern Territory also has considerable unconventional potential but the company said its granting date is difficult to forecast.

Central’s Lander Trough permits, EPAs 92, 129 and 160 cover 11 million acres of ground entirely within the early oil to very early gas window of maturation and have demonstrated chronostratigraphic equivalent formations to the Southern Georgina Arthur Creek Shale and Thorntonia Limestone unconventional plays.