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Exploration Strategy

Central’s portfolio of producing assets and prospective exploration acreage captures a pipeline of opportunities through the full appraisal, exploration and production cycle. Central is well positioned to execute a growth strategy which aims to build the Company into a potential supplier of domestic gas to eastern seaboard markets.

The immediate focus is to prove up sufficient gas reserves to provide a foundation supply contract for the North East Gas Interconnector (NEGI) project. Such reserves will be supplied from the Mereenie, Dingo and Palm Valley fields and requires near term workover and stimulation of existing wells, optimisation of surface facilities, and in-field drilling to provide reserve upgrades. Considering the combined output of Mereenie and Palm Valley reached a peak capacity of 60-70 TJ/d (~25 PJ/a), the in-field acceleration activities and addition of Dingo Gas Field supports Central’s ambition to be a key supplier to NEGI with 550 PJ of 2P reserve potential.

Post Financial Investment Decision (FID) of NEGI and during the construction phase of the pipeline, Central will progress exploration opportunities across the Northern Amadeus Basin close to existing fields and production infrastructure, and in the Southern Amadeus Basin and Southern Georgina Basin.

Within gas field licence areas, deeper reservoirs which have not been tested include the Arumbera Sandstone at Palm Valley and Mereenie, and intra-Gillen carbonates at Ooraminna. Near to the gas fields undrilled structural closures have also been identified in the vicinity of Dingo Field, Palm Valley West, and in the footwall abutting Mereenie Field bounding fault. The objective is to discover and develop potential 2P reserves of 260–560 PJ. Additional opportunities are provided by the Palm Valley and Mereenie structures as potential gas storage candidates during NEGI construction through to 2019.

In the Southern Amadeus area the joint venture will progress Stage 2 with acquisition of ~1,300 km 2D seismic to further delineate five leads with large potential extent. These range upwards in area from ~100 km2, necessitating sufficient seismic to locate crestal locations, and explore multi TCF potential.

In the Southern Georgina Basin, a redrill of the Ethabuka structure is attractive due to sub-commercial gas flows recorded from Ethabuka 1 at the shallower Coolibah Limestone without reservoir stimulation, and failure of the Ethabuka 1 well to reach deeper conventional and unconventional reservoir targets in the Arthur Creek Formation and underlying Thorntonia Limestone.

In support of securing larger gas volumes for eastern seaboard markets through the proposed NEGI pipeline, Central’s extensive acreage portfolio provides opportunities over a sustained period, through the full exploration cycle. Across large and unexplored areas the company has acquired and/or interpreted gravity and magnetics integrated with surface geology to dramatically improve its understanding of basin deformation and the development of prospective structural trends which will provide a guide to locating future seismic. This has advanced our knowledge of western Amadeus licensed and application areas, as well as in the company’s Wiso Basin application areas to the north which is effectively unexplored.

Surprise and Mereenie fields are encompassed by Exploration Permit 115. Numerous other structural leads have been identified in this permit which are prospective for oil but require additional seismic to mature to drillable status. The potential commodities progress through dry then wet gas towards the oil prone western area in which we will resume efforts as the oil price recovers.

The Horn Valley Siltstone also provides a regional unconventional target in the permits for liquids rich gas. During the drilling of such conventional targets we will endeavour to acquire core and comprehensive data to evaluate the potential for unconventional hydrocarbons.

This continuum of opportunities underpins a long term strategy to explore and develop the acreage portfolio through the exploration and development cycle, and lower the threshold to extract additional value from brownfields infrastructure.