Central Petroleum has commenced gas production at the Range pilot project in Queensland after drilling three wells and commissioning its surface facilities.
The pumps have been started at low speeds and the wells are producing water to the storage tank.
The company stated that the pumps will be ramped up over the next two weeks to gradually increase water rates and control well drawdown.
Following this, the pilot will be operated for about three months or longer, subject to storage tank capacity.
The Range gas project is a 50:50 joint venture between Central and Incitec Pivot in ATP 2031, a 77km2 permit in the Surat Basin.
The project contains an estimated 270 petajoules of 2C continent gas resource and is posited for development to take advantage of an expected shortfall of gas supply in eastern Australia by 2024.
Last month Central Petroleum reported that the the three Range pilot wells, Range-6, Range-7 and Range-8, were drilled to depths of between 675m and 685m and confirmed net coal of between 26m and 28m across the three coal seams of Walloon coal measures.
The pilot consists of three wells closely spaced at 200m apart to accelerate the dewatering process, a production water tank, flare and associated pipework.