Falcon to drill Australia’s Beetaloo basin in second quarter of 2016

Drilling rig, Australia
Source: DollarPhotoClub

In Australia, Falcon Oil & Gas has announced that preparations for its 2016 Beetaloo Basin drilling programme were “at an advanced stage”, with sites being finalised for the two new vertical wells, following technical evaluation by partners Origin Energy, South Africa’s Sasol and Falcon.

Drilling is expected to start in the second quarter of 2016 with well locations set to penetrate condensate rich gas mature through to dry gas mature sections of the Middle Velkerri shale. Rig 185 remains warm stacked until the official start day.

In a statement, the company said that preparations are under way for the company’s 2016 Beetaloo drilling and testing programme, which comprises:

  1. the remobilisation of Rig 185 and the drilling of Beetaloo W-1, a vertical well in exploration permit 117 approximately 85km south of the wells drilled in 2015;
  2. the drilling of a second vertical well, the location of which is being finalised and the hydraulic stimulation of either this well or the Beetaloo W-1 well; and
  3. the re-entry and hydraulic stimulation of Amungee NW-1H in EP98, which was drilled in November 2015 to a total measured depth of 3,808 metres, including 1,100 metres horizontal section in the “B Shale” interval of the Middle Velkerri Formation, 100 metres more than originally planned.

Australia’s Beetaloo Basin in the Northern Territory (NT) has recently gained a lot of interest from operators and investors such as the late Aubrey McClendon of American Partners and the private equity investor Energy & Minerals Group (EMG).

The basin itself lies within the larger McArthur Basin, which according to Deloitte, holds at least 240 trillion cubic feet of potentially recoverable gas, more than Australia’s known conventional gas resources. Australia is located close to the energy-hungry Asian markets and – unlike in most other countries exploring shale, USA included – the necessary infrastructure is largely already in place. The new $800 million North East Gas Interconnector conveniently connects the basin to three huge LNG export projects in Gladstone and one in Darwin (scheduled for 2017), as well as to mines in Queensland and buyers on the east coast.

Commenting on Falcon’s planned activities in Beetaloo, chief executive Philip O’Quigley said: “We are delighted to report that preparations for the 2016 Beetaloo drilling and testing programme are under way. Our shareholders can look forward to another exciting year of exploration activity which has the potential to transform the value of the company. Falcon remains fully carried throughout by our partners Origin and Sasol.”

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