Nippon Oil finds commercial oil reserves in Western Australia

Jan 07, 2003 01:00 AM

Japanese refiner Nippon Oil said it had found substantial commercial oil reserves off Dampier in Western Australia. There are at least 70 mm barrel of confirmed oil reserves in the Mutineer and Exeter fields in permit WA-191-P, 150 km west of Dampier, it said.
Nippon Oil in May 1997 acquired a 25 % stake in the international consortium for exploring these two fields, which is led by Australia's Santos.

The consortium will work out a production strategy for these fields by March 2003, targeting to launch commercial production in mid-2004 at the earliest, Nippon Oil said. This is the second largest discovery for the Japanese company, after its 1994 Rang Dong find in Vietnam, which currently pumps 68,000 bpd crude.
Operator Santos holds a 33.4 % stake in the international consortium for the oil fields, Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration 33.4 %, and Australia's Woodside Petroleum 8.2 %. Nippon Oil Exploration (Dampier), a subsidiary of Nippon Oil, holds 25 %.

The confirmation of the oilreserve would help it diversify its crude sources, the largest Japanese refiner said.
Nippon is making efforts to reduce its heavy reliance on Middle Eastern crude. Other Japanese refiners participating in consortiums exploring in and around Australia include Cosmo Oil (in the Timor Sea) and Idemitsu Kosan (off Dampier).

Source: Platts
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