(EnergyAsia, September 30) — Australia’s Antares Energy has agreed to participate in six gas prospects on a 10,000 acre lease in Kenedy County in Texas, US. Individual prospects are mapped using 3D seismic and have estimated reserve potential ranging from 38-225 billion cubic feet (BCF).


The primary objectives for these prospects are Lower Frio sands between 3,950-5,200 metres. Antares Energy will have a 5% working interest in three of the prospects (Group A) and a 25-50% working interest in the remaining portfolio (Group B).


Santos USA will be operator of the project with a 55% working interest in Group A and has an option to acquire 35% working interest in Group B. The Lamay Group, a consortium of private US companies, is participating for 40% working interest in Group A, and a 40-50% working interest in Group B.


The 10,000-acre lease comprises six independent Lower Frio prospects of varying structural styles. The largest prospect, the Frio R Deep, has estimated reserve potential of 225 BCF. The target sands in this prospect are expected between 15,000-17,000 feet and appear to be stratigraphically equivalent to producing fields west, northwest and north of the lease. These fields range in size from 20-240 billion cubic feet (BCF) and have wells with initial production from 12-40 million cubic feet/day (mmcfd). The estimated dry hole costs for the Frio Deep R are approximately US$6.5 million (Antares share US$325,000), with estimated completion costs of US$2 million (Antares share US$100,000).


Santos is reportedly planning to spud a well on this feature early in 2006.


The first well carries the highest technical risk and highest well cost (due to drilling depth and pressure) of the entire prospect portfolio. The remaining two prospects of Group A vary in size from 38-45 BCF.


Group B prospects range in size from 30-75 BCF and have target depths varying from 3,950-4,900 metres for the main objectives. Several of these features also have secondary shallow objectives on-trend with previous discoveries and fields.


Howard McLaughlin, Antares’ managing director, said: “This is a very exciting area with multiple high value gas prospects. In line with our stated strategy, we have chosen to enter initially with a relatively low working interest for the higher risk targets and increase our working interest in the remaining prospects as we gain more knowledge and reduce risk. As with the recently announced New Taiton prospect, this drilling program will expose Antares to a number of high impact prospects that, if successful, will dramatically increase the value of our company.