Timor Sea Oil and Gas Fields

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The Elang/Kakatua/Kakatua North group of oil fields are located in Joint Petroleum Development Area permit 91-12.

  • Elang oil field is located 500 kilometres north west of Darwin.
  • Kakatua oil field is located 12 kilometres from Elang-1.
  • Kakatua North is about 2 kilometres North of Kakatua -1.


  • Joint venture participants in the 91-12 permit area include:
Phillips Petroleum (91-12) Pty Ltd (operator)


Santos (JPDA 91-12) Pty Ltd


Inpex Sahul Ltd


Petroz (Timor Sea) Pty Ltd


Emet Pty Ltd


  • On 14 April 1999, it was announced that BHP Petroleum had sold their interests in JPDA permit 91-12 to Phillips Petroleum.


  • Elang and Kakatua were discovered in February and December 1994, respectively.
  • Kakatua North was discovered in January 1997.
  • In February 1997, the Joint Authority administering the JPDA approved plans to jointly develop the fields.


  • Production commenced in July 1998, the first oil production within the Zone of Cooperation (now known as the Joint Petroleum Development Area).
  • The target production rate of 32,500 barrels of oil per day (5,167 cubic metres) was initially exceeded, before production began a natural decline.
  • During early 2000, drilling of a sidetrack well from the Elang-1 and a workover of Elang-2 was completed. Subsequent production from these fields at combined rates in excess of 20,000 barrels (3,180 cubic metres) of oil per day were achieved. This remedial work is expected to  extend field life through calendar year 2002.
  • In November 2000 Petroz announced that the Elang, Kakatua and Kakatua North fields were producing around 17,000 barrels per day.
  • Cumulative production through November 2000 was approximately 19 million barrels (3.05 million cubic metres) of light, low sulphur crude oil.
  • As at June 2001, reserve estimates are 28.5 million barrels.


  • As illustrated in the following diagram, the fields have been developed using four subsea completion wells connected to a FPSO (floating production, storage and offloading facility), the Modec Venture 1.
  • The Modec Venture 1 is the former Skua Venture, sold to Modec Inc of Japan and leased back to project participants, and moored near the Elang field.
  • Storage capacity is 950,000 barrels (151,000 cubic metres) of oil.
  • Crude is exported by shuttle tankers.
  • Initial overall capital investment by the participants was about A$140 million not including recent drilling and workover investments.

Artists impression of Elang/Kakatua Field Production Operation

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Reproduced courtesy of PHILLIPS (91-12) PTY Limited

Current at 12/12/01

Director of Energy

Department of Business, Industry & Resource Development
GPO Box 2901

Ph: 61 8 8999 5460
Fax: 61 8 8999 5530
email: otd.info@nt.gov.au