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OMV announces major gas discovery in Australia

  • Successful exploration well Zola-1 completed
  • One of OMV´s biggest gas discoveries
  • New 3D seismic survey to be acquired over the Zola gas discovery

OMV, the leading energy Group in Central and Southeastern Europe, has discovered gas on the North West Shelf of Australia in the Zola-1 exploration well. This represents one of the largest gas discoveries by the company. Zola-1 is located in the WA-290-P exploration permit and is around 100 km from the Western Australian coast. The discovery well Zola-1 and the subsequently drilled sidetrack appraisal well Zola-1/ST-1 have confirmed the existence of sandstone layers with 130 m of net gas pay in an area south of the giant Gorgon gas field. New 3D seismic data will be acquired to further assess the potential of the discovery.

The sidetrack appraisal well to the original Zola-1 discovery well was drilled down to a total depth of 4,713 m (true vertical depth). An extensive wireline measurement and pressure testing program confirmed the presence of gas within several high quality sands of the target Triassic Mungaroo Formation. The well and sidetrack were drilled in a water depth of 285 m and encountered 130 m of net gas pay. Both will be plugged and abandoned as per plan.

In order to further assess the development potential of Zola, OMV and its partners in WA-290-P, Apache (operator), Santos, Nippon Oil Exploration and Tap Oil, have agreed to acquire a new high resolution 3D seismic survey over the permit, which is likely to commence mid 2011.

Jaap Huijskes, member of the OMV Executive Board responsible for Exploration and Production (E&P), stated: "Zola-1 is one of OMV's biggest gas discoveries and is the result of a successful and safely carried out exploration and appraisal drilling campaign. We are very proud of OMV's exploration activities in Australia, which have culminated in this significant discovery on the North West Shelf. The next step will be to further appraise the gas discovery, including the acquisition of a new 3D seismic survey."

Balanced international E&P portfolio 
In 2010, OMV’s oil and gas production was 318,000 boe/d and its proven reserves were about 1.15 bn boe at year-end. In its core countries in Romania and Austria, OMV is focusing on reducing the natural decline and on enhancing the recovery rates from mature fields. Future growth is expected to come via new field developments, exploration and acquisitions internationally. OMV intends to grow the existing portfolio to and beyond critical mass, on a production per country basis, and is looking to find new growth areas within the Caspian, Middle East and North Africa regions where OMV can leverage on its existing E&P exposure.

Background information:

WA-290-P Joint Venture

OMV Australia 20%
Apache (operator) 30.25%
Santos 24.75%
Nippon Oil Exploration 15%
Tap Oil 10%

OMV Australia Limited
OMV Australia Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of OMV Aktiengesellschaft, has been active in Australia since 1999 with an office in Perth, Western Australia. OMV Australia is operator of five exploration licenses and participates in three non-operated exploration licenses (including WA-290-P) and a small non-operated oil discovery.  These licenses are all located in the offshore Carnarvon Basin on the North West Shelf of Australia.