Shell has made a hydrocarbon discovery on the West-1 (Auriga) well on the northern Browse Basin offshore Australia.
Shell has been drilling the well, in Petroleum Permit Area AC/RL9, using the Stena Clyde semisubmersible drilling rig (pictured), 200km offshore northwest the Kimberley coast and 600km north-north east of Broome in 150-200m water depth.
The well is close to the Crux discovery, which Shell had reported to have been eying as a possible back-fill gas development for the Prelude FLNG project.
However, Nexus Energy, which was taken over by Seven Group last year, hopes that additional volumes in Auriga could pave the way for a stand alone Crux development.
In an announcement today, Seven said: "We are focussed on pursuing the earliest development option for our Crux joint venture and have completed the drilling of the Auriga test well with test results still in the process of being analyzed. With Auriga while we can’t be definitive in the outcome we can say the drilling has found hydrocarbons."
Auriga is on the Sahul Shelf; a broad, shallow platform off the north west coast of Australia in the Timor Sea. The Auriga well was due to be drilled to a total vertical depth of ~3963m, according to Shell's environmental permit.