Origin Energy has commenced its 2002 Perth Basin drilling program with the spudding of the exploration well Hovea 2 earlier this week. This well is located in onshore Perth Basin Production License L1, approximately 830m northeast of Hovea 1 and is programmed as an initial vertical well to test deeper exploration plays in the Early Permian section below the oil zone intersected at Hovea 1. Following evaluation of this section it is then proposed to sidetrack the well to appraise the northeastern extent of the Hovea 1 oil discovery (drilled by Origin Energy in October 2001). Origin’s interpretation of 3-Dimensional seismic recently acquired over the field indicates that Hovea 2 could be up to 110m up dip from Hovea 1 at the oil bearing Dongara Sandstone level. Total depth of the vertical well is programmed at 2730m.
The Hovea 2 well will be followed by the exploration well Jingemia 1 located in adjacent exploration permit EP413, some 5 kilometres to the southwest of Hovea 1. This well is programmed to test a separate prospect at the Dongara Sandstone level. Deeper targets are also in structural closure at the well location, and may be drilled depending on results at the primary target level. Planned total depth for Jingemia 1 is 2400m.
Participants in the first well in the program, Hovea 2 are as follows: Origin Energy Developments Pty Limited with 50.00%(as operator under a farm-in agreement; Arc Energy NL with the other 50.00%. Subject to necessary approvals, participants in EP413 and Jingemia 1 will be as follows: Origin Energy Developments Pty Limited 49.189% (operator); Hardman Resources 22.376%; AWE (Perth Basin) Ltd 15.245%; Victoria Petroleum Offshore Pty Ltd 5.7685%; Chimelle Petroleum Limited 5.7685% Euro Pacific Energy Pty Ltd 1.278%; A. R Burns 0.233%; and with the remaining J Geary 0.142%.
Russia's Ambassador to Belarus, Mikhail Babich, said that Moscow would treat any military intervention in the affairs of Belarus as an attack on Russia