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Image courtesy of Karoon Gas.

Karoon Gas Australia spudded the Echidna-1 exploration well on Tuesday in offshore Brazil, the company’s third well in its current Santos Basin campaign.

The top of the reservoir section is expected to be penetrated within three weeks with the well reaching a planned total depth of 7,874 feet during April 2015.

The Echidna prospect is located in exploration block S-M-1102, about 12 miles northeast of the Kangaroo oil field on the eastern flank of a salt diapir in a similar geological setting to Kangaroo.

“The 3D seismic at Echidna shows excellent seismic anomalies similar to those seen in Kangaroo-2 where in some reservoirs the oil water contact (flat spot) has been imaged, boosting confidence in the presence of oil,” Australia-based Karoon said.

The company said that new seismic data shows that the faulting density in the Echidna prospect “appears to be less” than observed in surrounding fields and prospects, “reducing the complexity of any potential oil accumulation.”

The Paleocene and Maastrichtian sands in the Echidna prospect were likely deposited in shallower marine settings “resulting in an increased likelihood of cleaner and better reservoirs,” Karoon said.

The Echidna prospect has been risked with a chance of success calculated at 43 percent.

The well has a best net unrisked prospective resource estimate of 95 million barrels of oil.

A successful outcome at Echidna-1 could materially add to any possible development of the Kangaroo oil field thanks to the prospect’s large size and proximity to Kangaroo.

Karoon holds a 65 percent operating interest in the jointly held block S-M-1102.