Origin to speed up on-shore gas drilling plans
ORIGIN Energy and its joint venture partner Falcon Oil & Gas will accelerate drilling plans in the Beetaloo Sub-basin.
The NT News can reveal "excellent" preliminary drilling data at the Kyalla 117 N2 onshore gas well has prompted the move.
Kyalla 117, 600km southeast of Darwin, between Daly Waters and Elliott, is the first of two new Origin Energy appraisal wells to be drilled and fracture stimulated to help determine the potential of the resource in the Beetaloo Sub-basin.
Falcon Oil & Gas has issued a statement from its Irish headquarters saying the results have been very encouraging.
Significantly, the joint venture partners are preparing for continued operations during the Top End wet season.
Falcon Oil & Gas said drilling of the vertical section of Kyalla 117 N2 appraisal well in the Beetaloo Sub-basin had been completed to a depth of 1895m.
Falcon Oil & Gas chief CEO Philip O'Quigley was upbeat about the results.
"Preliminary results of the Kyalla 117 N2-1 vertical appraisal represents an excellent restart to the Beetaloo drilling program," he said. The results were so good that Origin, the joint venture partners, have decided to proceed immediately to the drilling of the horizontal section.
"This signifies the confidence in the potential of the Kyalla shale," Mr O'Quigley said. "While it is still early days to fully understand the reservoir characteristics and completion quality, drilling results are very encouraging."
Once completed the horizontal section will be fracture stimulated and production tested.
The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association, NT Resources Minister Paul Kirby and Origin Energy have all hailed the resumption of on-ground work in the Beetaloo Sub-basin as a major milestone.
APPEA NT spokesman Keld Knudsen said the Territory's onshore gas industry had been looking forward to getting back to work after three years of minimal activity and exploration.
"The NT's abundant natural gas resources can play a vital role in revitalising the Territory's economy," Mr Knudsen said.
Mr Kirby recently attended the Australia-Japan Joint Business Conference in Osaka, where he said strong interest was being shown in drilling activities in the Beetaloo Sub-basin.
"There were a number of companies at the conference that have expressed interest in the Beetaloo Basin," he said.
"I've been able to explain to them that we have worked our way through the scientific inquiry, the regulations are in place and people are working to make sure new industries have the right ability to get started in the right terms and conditions."
* 600KM south of Darwin
* CLOSE to infrastructure including a highway, pipeline and railway offering transport options to the Australian market and beyond via liquefied natural gas (LNG) capacity in Darwin to the north and QLD to the east.
* HAS the potential to be a game-changer for the gas industry and the Northern Territory as a major new source of gas supply.
* ORIGIN'S exploration project started in mid-2014.