BPH Energy (ASX: BPH) has released details of a report that identifies strong parallels between the large PEP 11 offshore project and similarly aged structures now producing gas in Queensland’s Bowen Basin.
The company also noted how the Baleen prospect about 30km south of Newcastle off the NSW Coast has become a key target.
This follows a report in late June that a review of years of work on the huge PEP 11 field lying in the offshore Sydney Basin had revealed past work had identified structural leads that could contain 5 trillion cubic feet (5 TCF) of gas.
To put that in perspective, the Bass Strait fields since 1965 have produced 6 TCF, meaning the equivalent of 5 TCF being the gas supply for a 50-year period.
PEP 11 and Baleen
One of the main findings of the review was the potential of the Baleen prospect. The latest development is that a revised drill target has been identified with a total depth of 2,150m.
BPH Energy views PEP 11 as one of the most significant untested gas plays in Australia. It is adjacent to the Sydney-Newcastle area, the largest domestic gas market in Australia.
BPH Energy owns almost 23% of Advent Energy, an unlisted oil and gas company based in Perth, which in turn holds an 85% interest in PEP 11, with Bounty Oil and Gas (ASX: BUY) retaining the remaining stake.
PEP 11 covers 4,576 square kilometres.
PEP 11 has been pursued since 1981 when the first 2D seismic survey was carried out. That work showed the project area has similarities to the conventional gas fields of the Bowen Basin in Queensland, with a similar age and depth.
The Bowen Basin fields have interbedded coal and gas sands of the Late Permian period corresponding to PEP 11.
The company noted that the 40 billion cubic feet Churchie/Myall Creek gas field near Roma in Queensland produces from sands between the Late Permian coal seams.
That field contains an anomaly that is replicated by 2D seismic at PEP 11, the latter “suggesting” a 24sq km target that could also be associated with Late Permian coal and gas facies (that is, a similar rock character shows by its formation, composition and fossil content).
BPH Energy also noted the fact that the “strong” petroleum potential of the northern Sydney Basin is indicated by a well drilled in 1961 just onshore from PEP 11.
Oil entered the Strevens Terrigal 1 wellbore at a depth of 103m and oil fractures were also noted at 1,525m. This well was just 47km from the proposed Baleen hole.
That well had to be abandoned at 1,887m but the chief geologist at that time suggested that another 3.05km to 4.6km of Permian facies lay below the end of that hole.
Work continuing on project with estimated 5 TCF
A 2010 report compiled by the private project generator Pangean Resources concluded that undiscovered gross prospective recoverable has resources within PEP 11 have been estimated at 5 TCF (at the “best estimate” level).
The petroleum permit area is mostly shallow with an average depth of 200m. While the basin is considered gas-prone, numerous significant petroleum shows have been reported that support the assessment that the basin contains an active petroleum system.
Offshore oil and gas seeps have been recorded from Long Reef (near the Sydney northern beaches suburb of Dee Why) to Catherine Hill Bay on the NSW Central Coast. These seeps have given rise to periodic oil slick occurrences along the coast.
According to BPH Energy, PEP 11 remains one of the most significant untested gas plays in Australia, and is adjacent to the Sydney-Newcastle area, the largest domestic gas market in Australia.