KAROON Gas Australia has hit oil at its Echidna 1 well, boosting the company’s Santos basin exploration program after its Kangaroo West 1 well turned up dry in March.

Karoon said the Echidna 1 well had intersected an oil bearing section in Paleocene sands, as shown on mudlog and logging while drilling data.

The mudlog shows elevated gas readings and oil florescence in sandstones. Wireline logging will now be conducted to ascertain the extent of the gross and net columns.

Karoon said it would confirm the presence of the oil column through a planned wireline testing program on the well, which reached a total depth of 2,379 metres when drilled on 12 April.

The wireline program will involve taking pressure data, reservoir fluids sampling and petrophysical logging.

Additional intervals of elevated mudlog gas and oil florescence have been observed in the Maastrichtian section and will be further evaluated during the wireline logging program, Karoon said.

The Echidna prospect is located about 20 kilometres north east of the Kangaroo prospect – with both located on block S M 1102.

The company had found oil at its Kangaroo 2 appraisal well in February, leading it to have high hopes for the prospect.

“Due to large size and proximity to Kangaroo, a successful outcome at Echidna 1 could materially add to any possible development of the Kangaroo oilfield,” Karoon said in March.

Karoon holds a 65 per cent interest in and is operator of block S M 1102, while Pacific Rubiales Energy holds the remaining 35%.

The current exploration and appraisal drilling campaign, operated by Karoon, is using the ‘Olinda Star’ semi-submersible drilling rig for the entire campaign.

The rig contract provides Karoon with one additional option well allowing flexibility for further appraisal of the Kangaroo oil discovery, or possibly targeting other prospects.