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Empire Energy given go-ahead for drilling in Australia's Northern Territory

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Oilfield Technology,


Empire Energy Group Ltd. has received Northern Territory Government approvals for the drilling of Carpentaria-1, to be located in EP187.

With formal Northern Territory Government approvals for the drilling of Carpentaria-1 now in place, Empire can finalise the well design and carry out formal tendering with service providers.

Once that process is complete, Empire will inform shareholders of its final investment decision regarding the drilling of Carpentaria-1 and the start date of the drilling programme.

Empire is one of the first companies active in the McArthur and Beetaloo Basins to be granted Northern Territory Government approvals for drilling under the new regulatory framework.

Carpentaria-1 is a planned vertical well to be located in EP187, to appraise the Velkerri and Kyalla Shales. The prognosed depth of the well is approximately 2900 m.

The recent 2D seismic programme carried out by Empire shows the top of the Velkerri Shale to be at approximately 2200 m depth and to be 600 m thick, and the shallower Kyalla Shale located at a depth of approximately 1200 m at the Carpentaria-1 well location.

Empire’s technical team has been working closely with its Well Engineering and Project Management consultants, InGauge Energy, to finalise the well engineering design of Carpentaria-1. The most likely well design incorporates an extensive formation evaluation program including coring which will provide valuable technical information regarding hydrocarbon composition and content, and rock mechanical properties of the Velkerri and Kyalla Shales in EP187.

This data will inform Empire regarding the likely recoverable volumes of hydrocarbons in its EP187 Phase 1 Work Program Area which extends across 160 km2 and the hydrocarbon composition of the Velkerri and Kyalla Shales (crude oil vs natural gas liquids vs dry gas). Mechanical rock properties information will focus the key target formations for design of future fracture stimulation programs which are critical for flow testing and ultimately commercial hydrocarbon production.

The well design being considered would allow the well to be suspended for future re-entry and evaluation work. Further evaluation would most likely involve a vertical fracture stimulation of the Velkerri Shale similar to the fracture stimulation recently successfully carried out by Santos on its Tanumbirini-1 well in EP161 adjoining EP187 (see Figure 1) followed by the drilling and fracture stimulation of a horizontal well section to carry out an extended production test.

Additional evaluation activities on Carpentaria-1 after the initial drilling programme would be subject to a separate Northern Territory Government approval process which has already commenced.

Read the article online at: https://www.oilfieldtechnology.com/drilling-and-production/06032020/empire-energy-given-go-ahead-for-drilling-in-australias-northern-territory/

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