BHP Billiton Ltd. and equal joint venture partner Woodside Energy Ltd. have approved the $ 600 million development of Stybarrow oil field

BHP Billiton Ltd. and equal joint venture partner Woodside Energy Ltd. have approved the $ 600 million development of Stybarrow oil field in the WA-255-P(2) permit 65 km off Western Australia (see map, OGJ, Aug. 4, 2003, Newsletter).

Lying in 825 m of water in the Exmouth subbasin, Stybarrow will be the deepest oil field development in Australia, says BHP Billiton, the operator.

The company will use the Atwood Oceanics Inc. Atwood Eagle semisubmersible to drill and complete subsea five production wells to be tied back to a newbuild, double-hull floating production, storage, and offtake vessel.

It has a 10-year service agreement with a MODEC joint venture for the FPSO, which will be able to process 80,000 b/d of liquids and store 900,000 bbl.

Development drilling is expected to begin in mid-2006 and take 9 months. Production is to start in the first quarter of 2008.

Stybarrow, discovered in 2003, and the oil rim of nearby Eskdale field have total recoverable reserves of 60-90 million bbl of oil.

BHP Billiton and Woodside have drilled nine wells in the Stybarrow-Eskdale area.

The Stybarrow 1 discovery encountered a gross oil column 23 m thick with 18.6 m of net pay in the Macedon sandstone. BHP drilled it in February 2003 and followed with the Eskdale 1 in March, Skiddaw 1 and 2 in May, and Stybarrow 2 in June.

Between April and July 2004, the firm drilled the Stybarrow 3 and 4 appraisal wells and the Eskdale 2 and Knott 1 exploratory wells.

Stybarrow 3, in 792 m of water about 2 km northeast of Stybarrow 1, encountered a gross oil column of 6.5 m. The Stybarrow 4 sidetrack cut a 16 m gross oil column.

Eskdale 2, in 830 m of water, encountered a gross oil column 13 m thick and a gross gas column of 24 m. Knott 1, drilled in June 2004, was plugged and abandoned.

Source : ogj.pennnet.com