Buffalo Oil Field - Timor Leste

Buffalo Oil Field - Timor Leste

In April 2021 Advance Energy completed a transaction with Carnarvon Petroleum that saw it acquire 50% equity interest in the Buffalo Oil Field in East Timor.


The Buffalo Field was originally developed and operated by BHP & Nexen in 1999, producing 21 MMstb over 5 years. The licence was previously located in the north western Australian waters, but since 2018 has been located entirely in Timor-Leste waters.

During its time on production, it achieved a peak rate of 45,000 bopd from only 2 wells and production was subsequently shut in late 2004, at a rate of 4,000 bopd.

Prior to the Buffalo transaction Carnarvon Petroleum Timor held the Buffalo PSC licence 100 per cent. Carnarvon Petroleum Timor is a subsidiary of ASX listed company, Carnarvon Petroleum Limited.

Carnarvon was awarded the WQ-523-P permit in 2016 for an initial six-year term. Carnarvon initially focussed its technical work on reprocessing of the 3D seismic dataset using state-of-the-art full waveform inversion (FWI) technology, which was not available to the previous operators 20 years ago. This evaluation identified a significant attic oil accumulation remaining from the original development; an attic that was anticipated at the time of the original development but never drilled. Reservoir modelling has been conducted using the latest structural interpretation and data available from 8 well penetrations of the reservoir, including an extensive history-matching effort to calibrate model/well performance to production rates and water-cut development (governed by strong aquifer drive) observed during the original production period. Based on this work, RISC independently audited the volumetric estimates of contingent resources in the Buffalo oil field to be 34 million barrels at the 2C level, 16 million barrels at 1C and 63 million barrels at 3C. (Reference: RISC CPR March 2021)

Unlocking Resource Potential

It is intended that the B-10 appraisal well will be drilled in late 2021, which is targeting the hitherto undrilled crest of the Buffalo structure to establish the remaining oil column in the field, which is expected to be up to 80m at the 2C level. This vertical well is to be drilled in 25 m water depth. Once drilled and logged the well is expected to be suspended for future use and completion as a development well. Once the B-10 well results have been integrated with the existing database, it is expected that an FID decision will be made in H2 2022 with first oil to follow in H2 2023.

This is low risk appraisal given the past 8 well penetrations of the Elang reservoir with a high probability of encountering the undrilled crest. The projected peak of gross oil production is 40,000 bopd within 2023. Based on the RISC CPR 2C oil forecast and associated cost estimates his would mean free cash flow (FCF) of US$276 million in the first 12 months at an oil price $50, the majority of which would be net to Advance.