Australia: Carnarvon to progress Buffalo project to development

Australia-based Carnarvon Petroleum is looking to take its Buffalo project located in block WA-523-P off Australia forward to drilling and development, following new data which further improved the imaging of the Buffalo oil reservoir. 

Carnarvon is the operator of the WA-523-P block set in the Bonaparte Basin, on the North West Shelf. The block includes the Buffalo oil field. The permit is in the proximity of proven oilfields at Laminaria, Corallina, Kitan, Jahal, and Kuda Tasi.

The Buffalo field contains a best estimate resource (2C) of 31 million barrels of light premium oil.

Discovered in 1996, the Buffalo field was developed with two wells tied back to an FPSO with first oil in 1999. A further two infill wells were drilled in 2002 with the production ceasing in 2004 when the field was still producing around 4,000 bopd. The field was abandoned and all infrastructure removed.

Carnarvon acquired its 100% interest in the WA-523-P exploration permit back in May 2016, believing that the Buffalo field might be an interesting re-development since it produced 20 million barrels of high quality oil and was flowing around 4,000 barrels a day when operations on the field ceased in 2004.

Carnarvon on Tuesday, February 20 provided an update on its subsurface work in the Buffalo project. According to the statement, quality new seismic data has recently been received and is showing increasingly clear definition around the important Elang formation, which is the producing reservoir in the Buffalo oil field.


Confidence in redevelopment


With this new data the reservoir in this region is clearly identifiable on seismic and has been reconciled with important well data within the oil field, the company said. This improvement in data quality increases Carnarvon’s confidence in the redevelopment of the field.

These results were made possible due to significant increases in computing power since the field was last in production in 2004. Carnarvon has been working in concert with the seismic reprocessing firm, DownUnder GeoSolutions, to achieve the current results.

Carnarvon secured the Buffalo project with the objective of running modern seismic technologies (called Full Waveform Inversion or FWI) to determine whether seismic velocity issues in the past could be solved with this new technology.

The first iteration appeared to successfully achieve this objective and a second reprocessing iteration was undertaken as an independent check of the initial reprocessing work. All of the learnings from the first two reprocessing iterations were then incorporated into this current third reprocessing iteration. The result is a data set that is a vast improvement on the historic seismic data that was available when the field was last in production.

“At this stage the Carnarvon team believe the current data set is sufficient to take this project forward to drilling and development,” the company said.

In addition to the work being undertaken around the Buffalo oil field, the Carnarvon team is also mapping the untapped exploration prospects within the permit.

Offshore Energy Today Staff