Australian Beach Energy produced 4.83mn barrels of oil equivalent of gas and gas liquids in the Fiscal year ended June, and expects to lift rates higher in the current fiscal year to 4.9mn boe-5.2mn boe, supported by increased drilling activity in the country’s Cooper Basin, the company said July 27.
Sydney-based RBC Capital Markets analyst Ben Wilson said Beach’s guidance beat their expectation of 4.6mn boe. “The stronger than expected gas outlook reflects a reinvigorated Cooper Basin joint venture drilling program, we suspect it is driven by operator Santos’ reserves versus gas contract position,” he said.
The company’s multi-year capital program for the Cooper Basin aims to see, in the 2017-2018 fiscal year, the completion and connection of more than 20 currently cased and suspended wells, various optimisation and expansion projects, and the participation in up to 34 development wells – which it expects will offset natural field decline.
It is planning an expanded drilling program of up to 78 wells (+35% from FY17), including up to 44 exploration and appraisal wells (+42% from FY17) to add reserves and guide development programs for future years, Beach said.
The gas and gas liquids guidance makes up around 49% of an expected total production of 10mn boe-10.6mn boe, with oil production forecast at 5.1mn boe-5.4mn boe. And the company is targeting at least 10mn boe of total production for fiscal years 2019 and 2020, it said.
Beach is expecting its fiscal 2018 capital expenditure to be within the range of A$220mn-A$260mn ($177mn-$209mn), of which about three quarters is classified as discretionary, and about two thirds of the discretionary expenditure is planned to be allocated to the company’s Cooper Basin acreage projects, which have expected internal rates of return greater than 60%, it said.
The targeted fiscal 2018 capital expenditure is up from A$155mn in the 2017 fiscal year.
Beach saw average realised prices for sales gas and ethane of A$6.2/GJ in the April-June period, which was up from A$6/GJ a year earlier, and down from A$6.3/GJ during January-February, it said.
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