By Lauren Barrett
CHEVRON’S exploration success rate is running close to 100 per cent in Australia, and according to the company’s Australasia general manager for exploration, David Moffat, its seismic technology is underpinning the company’s strong exploration record.
Chevron’s discovered gas resources in Australia total 50 trillion cubic feet, with 37 Tcf having been defined in the Greater Gorgon area, while 9 Tcf has been discovered in the Wheatstone and Iago gas fields.
Speaking at the recent RIU GoodOil conference in Perth, Mr Moffat said Chevron had made 27 gas discoveries in Australia since 2009.
“We are running at about a 90% success rate,” he said.
Mr Moffat said the company lent very heavily on its seismic technology which was underpinning its exploration success.
“In terms of total resources, we’ve found over 2 billion barrels of oil equivalent, principally gas.”
Mr Moffat said the company has had a good run in the Exmouth Plateau area, located offshore Western Australia.
“In the Exmouth Plateau, the obvious structures we’ve drilled, so we are moving into more subtle structures were we are seeing quite large accumulations,” he said.
Australia remains key to Chevron’s overall growth strategy. While the company is in the middle of developing its $54 billion Gorgon and its $29 billion Wheatstone gas projects, the company continues to drive a strong exploration campaign in the hopes more gas could underpin potential expansions.
During the first half of 2014, the company participated in the drilling of four wells in the Exmouth Plateau and Gorgon areas.
The Lasseter-1 discovery in the Browse basin, in which Chevron has a 50% stake, remains the company’s most recent find, with operating joint venture partner Santos confirming in August a condensate to gas ratio of between 10 and 25 bbls/mmscf for the find.
“We plan to drill two more well in the later part of the year,” Mr Moffat said, which will occur in the Carnarvon basin.
A lot of the company’s exploration focus in recent years has been in and around Gorgon, however Mr Moffat said Chevron’s future exploration efforts will turn north west to the Satyr discovery – a major well in the Carnarvon basin, offshore WA, that was discovered in 2009.
“A lot of our focus in exploration and probably appraisal over the next few years is in and around this Satyr area, called the Greater Satyr area or the Satyr hub,” he said.
“In terms of the resource found in Satyr we are looking at about 5tcf of discovered resources in the area… and we have about another 5 Tcf of gas yet to find in adjacent prospects that we will be drilling up in the next year also.”
Combined with the nearby Clio discovery, Mr Moffat said the proven hydrocarbon-rich area could present substantial opportunities for future development.
As for the company’s recent beeline into the Bight basin, off the South Australian coast, Mr Moffat described it as a large frontier basin with world-class scale.
“The Bight for us is an exciting new area,” he said.
The company ventured into the Bight last October when it acquired an exploration interest in two offshore blocks, with Chevron’s acreage holding spanning just under 3.3 million hectares.
Mr Moffat said Chevron was currently in the process of processing its 3D seismic data in the area. The survey is so large that the company has divided it into two seasons. While season one has been successfully executed, the final stage of the seismic acquisition will be undertaken early next year.
“When completed that survey will be the largest offshore 3D survey in Australia,” Mr Moffat said.
Chevron’s exposure in the Bight basin, in the seismic data and drilling activity stage, is estimated to be about $500 million.