) and Australian explorer New Standard Energy - its partner in
the Goldwyer shale project in Western Australia - have commenced
spudding the second exploration well as part of a three-well
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According to the Australian company, the second well - Gibb
Maitland-1 - was drilled in exploration permit EP 450. Currently,
a 17.5-inch hole directed at the first casing point in the upper
part of the well is being drilled.
The first exploration well - Nicolay-1 - spud in August and
discovered as bearing more shale than primarily anticipated, is
likely to be the base on which the results of the second well
Located on the northern slope of the Kidson sub-basin - Gibb
Maitland-1 - is expected to assess a different and more
encouraging geological environment compared to Nicolay-1. The
second well is aimed at finding oil and gas in-situ within the
mature rock shale source of the Goldwyer formation. This region
is considered the starting area of the migrated oil and gas finds
in wells north of the permit.
New Standard, the operator of the Goldwyer project, estimates the
total duration for drilling, logging and suspension activities at
about 65 days. New Standard has a 25% stake in the project.
ConocoPhillips holds the remaining 75% stake. The four-year
exploration program has received financial support of about $119
million from ConocoPhillips. The company is entitled to assume
operatorship upon conclusion of the current phase one drilling
Recently, ConocoPhillips set a budget of $15.8 billion for
capital projects in 2013, almost same as the expected capital
spending in 2012. The company is expected to allot its capital
towards maintenance of high-quality legacy base portfolio, highly
profitable exploitation programs in its legacy asset base,
approved major projects and its worldwide exploration and
appraisal program. The proportion of its spending on these
activities is 10%, 40%, 35% and 15%, respectively.
ConocoPhillips, the midstream business of which now operates as
), holds a Zacks #3 Rank that is equivalent to a Hold rating for
a period of one to three months. Longer term, we maintain our