Woodside Petroleum Ltd (ASX:WPL), shares rose to a one month high after gaining 2.5 % after its Alaric-1 prospect offshore intersected gas pays over several zones.
As per the company statement, the exploration well off Western Australia had intersected 185 meters of gross gas.
This new find extends the known area of the gas province in Greater Carnarvon Basin significantly. The initial analysis of drilling fluids found that the gas could be comparatively 'liquids rich' said Woodside but this needs confirmation by further analysis.
This new find revives hopes of any investment decision on the expansion of the Pluto gas project. The flagship liquefied natural gas project needed to be sanctioned for its second train expansion.
Due to mixed exploration results so far the general feeling amongst analysts was that Woodside Petroleum was likely to miss its target timeline. It was doubtful that the company would find the reserves needed to undertake the expansion. Now it seems to have found them.
Shares were trading at $43.03, AEST 2pm Monday.
Within Australia Woodside operates the North West Shelf Venture which comprises a number of offshore gas and gas-condensate fields including Goodwyn and North Rankin. Gas is produced through a pipeline to Karratha, Western Australia where it is processed for Australian and export markets.
The company also operated the Legendre oil field off Karratha but sold its interests in this field to ExxonMobil. Woodside currently is the majority stakeholder and operator of the Enfield oil field offshore from Exmouth in Western Australia, the Laminaria-Corallina oil field offshore northern Australia and the Thylacine and Geographe gas fields offshore Victoria in southern Australia.