- 45% increase in Carpentaria-1 vertical well average flow rate to 0.364
mmcf / day over the first 10 days following recommencement of extended
- Northern Territory Government approvals received for the drilling and
hydraulic fracture stimulation of up to seven horizontal wells in EP187
- Carpentaria-2H horizontal appraisal drilling scheduled to start in late
- EP187 infill 2D seismic acquisition scheduled to start in November 2021
Carpentaria-1 Extended Production Test Recommences with Improved Flow Rates
On 28 September 2021, Empire restarted production testing of the fracture stimulated Carpentaria-1 vertical well in EP187. The first Extended Production Test (“EPT”) was suspended on 16 July 2021 due to COVID-19 related travel restrictions. In the first ten days of this second EPT, the average flow rate has lifted by ~45% to 0.364 mmcf / day compared to the average reported flow rate reached in the first EPT.
Empire’s technical team believes that the uplift in production rates may be due to diffusion of water into the Middle Velkerri shales during the shutdown period, providing enhanced pathways for gas production through induced fractures. This data will be incorporated into the innovative completion and stimulation methodologies Empire is developing specific to the
Sampling of gas and flowback fluid at surface has also continued and the returned hydrocarbons will be used to determine the best shale to target with the Carpentaria-2H lateral.
Carpentaria-2H Drilling to Commence in late October
Civil works are now well underway for the Carpentaria-2H well including the construction of the Carpentaria Highway turn off, access roads and the well pad. The conductor casing has been installed and water source and monitoring bores are being drilled within the well pad area. Baseline water sampling will commence shortly for aquifer protection.
The vertical section of Carpentaria-2H will target the same Velkerri Formation shales (A, B, Intra A/B and C) as Empire’s Carpentaria-1 well approximately 200m deeper than those target shales existing at Carpentaria-1. Following vertical drilling through the target formations, a
horizontal hole section will be drilled into one of the target Velkerri shale zones.
Following the drilling of Carpentaria-2H, Empire intends to commission an updated independent resource report to update Prospective and Contingent Resources in EP187 which will incorporate the Carpentaria-2H drilling results, updated seismic data and existing Carpentaria-1 data. Empire expects the updated independent resource report to be completed in Q1 2022.
The Carpentaria-2H well will be drilled 11km north of Carpentaria-1, with the Carpentaria Highway and McArthur River Pipeline located midway between the two wells.
EP187 Infill Seismic Survey to commence in November
Acquisition of the Charlotte 2D Seismic Survey, designed to further delineate the Velkerri shales within EP187, is expected to start in the first week of November 2021. Acquisition is expected to take approximately two weeks and will be followed by seismic processing and line rehabilitation.
Northern Territory Government Drilling Approvals Received
Empire has received approval from the Northern Territory Government for its Environment Management Plan (“EMP”) for up to seven horizontal wells in EP187 including permission to:
- Construct up to 6 well pads with the ability to drill up to 4 wells from each pad
- Drill up to 7 wells including a horizontal from the existing Carpentaria-1 vertical well and up to 6 new horizontal wells
- Evaluate, log, test and core each well including diagnostic fracture injection tests
- Hydraulic fracture stimulation and extended production test each well
Following approval of the EMP, Empire has now received all key NT Government approvals for Carpentaria-2H operations and the work programs for which Empire has executed grant agreements with the Australian Government under the Beetaloo Cooperative Drilling Program.
Drilling Contract Executed and Mobilisation Underway
Empire has selected and engaged the Silver City Drilling Rig 40 to drill, case and suspend the horizontal Carpentaria-2H well in EP187. Rig 40 and its crew have recently drilled Origin Energy’s Velkerri 76 well and is mobilising from that site to the Carpentaria-2H location.
Silver City Drilling Pty Ltd is an independently owned Northern Territory company based in Alice Springs. The company has a long history in oil and gas drilling in Australia and has been particularly active in Queensland’s coal seam gas industry.