Empire Beetaloo Basin well hits thick liquid rich gas

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Matt BirneySponsored
Well log section signifying the consistency of Velkerri shale pay zones across Carpentaria-1 and Carpentaria-2.
Camera IconWell log section signifying the consistency of Velkerri shale pay zones across Carpentaria-1 and Carpentaria-2. Credit: File

ASX-listed Empire Energy could be gearing up for a busy end of year after its in-progress Carpentaria-2 well sniffed out a suite of thick liquid rich gas shales across four stacked Velkerri Formation pay zones in the vertical section of its Beetaloo Sub-Basin ground in the Northern Territory. The company is now set to tap the middle Velkerri B shale by drilling the horizontal section of the Carpentaria-2H well.

According to Empire, well log interpretation of Carpentaria-2 suggests the wells geological characteristics are akin to its predecessor, Carpentaria-1 that successfully penetrated four stacked shale targets en-route to its termination depth.

Remarkably, each of the four Velkerri shale target zones, the Velkerri A, Intra A/B, B and C shales, all delivered gas to the wells surface through flow testing of the Carpentaria-1 well.

The all-star cast of shale targets in Carpentaria-1 was led by the B Shale that delivered the highest proportion of gas production during the flow test.

With the Carpentaria-1 and Carpentaria-2H wells sharing similar shale consistency, the Empire brains trust has earmarked the B Shale as the first target for its horizontal appraisal drilling.

Results reinforce our modelling of strong continuity of the Velkerri’s liquids rich gas target shales with a strong match with the Carpentaria-1 location 11km away, albeit 240m deeper at Carpentaria-2. Increased depth is likely to support increased flow rates while maintaining a cost advantage over deeper drilling. Live gas bleeds witnessed in sidewall core samples we cut from the target shales further enhance our view that strong production rates may be achieved once we commence flow testing.

Empire Energy, Managing Director Alex Underwood

The company has engaged independent reserves consultancy Netherland, Sewell and Associates to provide an updated resource report that will incorporate the results from the Carpentaria-2 log and core data.

Empire’s latest piece of business in the revered Beetaloo Sub-Basin looks impeccably timed with the price of liquefied natural gas having a stellar run in 2021. The upheaval marks a solid comeback for the commodity with prices, incredibly, springing upwards of 80 per cent over the past year.

According to Deloitte, the rising prices can be partially credited to limited gas storage across Europe, COVID-related delays in the maintenance of LNG plants and the increased demand flowing from economic growth.

As the company looks to embark on its first horizontal drilling effort in the revered Beetaloo Sub-Basin, Empire will be hopeful the wells increased depth could promote unrivalled flow rates. Given this first horizontal drilling will target the same Velkerri B shale that offered the strongest gas production in the Carpentaria-1 vertical flow test, the results will be worth keeping an eye on.

Is your ASX-listed company doing something interesting? Contact: matt.birney@wanews.com.au

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