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Significant new gas project proved up in Central Queensland

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Oilfield Technology,

  • Mahalo Gas Project - a potential game changer to meet looming East Coast gas shortage.
  • Located about 240 km west of Gladstone and close to existing pipeline connections.
  • Comet hopeful of gas delivery in first part of 2020.
  • Comet Ridge has strong joint venture partners in Santos and APLNG.

With an East Coast gas crisis looming, a significant new gas field has just been proved up in Central Queensland and could prove invaluable in helping to alleviate a forecast domestic market shortfall of about 50 Petajoules (PJ) a year.

Queensland gas explorer Comet Ridge Limited announced a material reserves upgrade for the Mahalo Gas Project in which the company has a 40% interest in joint venture with partners. Santos QNT Pty Ltd and Australia Pacific LNG Pty Ltd - each having a 30% interest.

Comet Ridge’s Managing Director Mr Tor McCaul said the materially significant reserves upgrade had proven the potential for an exciting new large-scale and commercial source of low-cost deliverable gas that could provide gas into the network by the first part of 2020.

“We believe the Mahalo Gas Project could well prove to be a real game changer, given its potential to partially alleviate the existing East Coast gas squeeze,” he said.

Comet announced a 473% increase in its Net 2P (Proved and Probable) reserves to 172 PJ, a 71% rise in its 3P (Proved, Probable and Possible) reserves to 374 PJ and a maiden net 1P (Proven) booking of 18 PJ - demonstrating that commercial thresholds had been met.

The new reserves assessment has been independently certified by MHA Petroleum Consultants, LLC (MHA) of Denver, Colorado which undertook Comet Ridge’s maiden reserves certification in August 2014 and update in December 2015.

Mr McCaul said the upgraded certification implied that the project contained on a gross basis reserves equivalent to 45 PJ of 1P, 430 PJ of 2P and 935 PJ of 3P on a 100% basis, reinforcing its market significance.

“This upgrade reflects the success of a low-cost horizontal in-seam well drilled to 900 m and currently flowing at 700 000 f3/d after just 55 days online, far exceeding Comet’s expectations, Mr McCaul said.

“The success of this horizontal well and the Mahalo 7 horizontal well drilled over the last two years plus the large upgrade in reserves suggests potential for material gas production from the project via a lowcost near-term development plan.”

Mr McCaul said Comet had demonstrated operational credibility by delivering as agent for Santos the 2017 drilling program under, budget while achieving flow rates well in excess of expectations.

“Comet believes the Mahalo Gas Project presents an attractive opportunity which could deliver gas into the network as early as the first part of 2020 from shallow, high permeability coals with low water content located just 14 km from existing pipeline infrastructure,” he said.

“Based on these factors, the success of the recent horizontal wells and the significant reserves upgrade, Comet Ridge is now focused on pushing ahead with its plans towards reaching a development decision later this year.”

As the Project moves closer towards a development decision, additional focus will be placed on building 1P and 2P reserves as further production data is collected and additional appraisal is undertaken.

“The significant increase in 3P reserves is important as it will allow the Joint Venture to potentially consider a larger scale of development than Comet previously thought,” Mr McCaul said.

“Comet’s initial development plan of 25 Terajoules a day may need to be expanded in light of the significant reserves upgrade and the exceptional performance and horizontal well flow rates.”

Future development wells are likely to be drilled up to 2000m in seam to support increased production rates.

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