Oil and Gas News

Empire secures $21m for Beetaloo project

beetaloo basin

The Australian Government has approved up to $21 million in grant funding to Empire Energy for the Beetaloo cooperative drilling program in the Northern Territory.

The program was implemented to encourage explorers to accelerate their work programs with a view to accelerating initial commercials production from the Beetaloo Basin, increasing gas supply for Australian households and businesses.

The grant funding received by Empire will offset 25 per cent of eligible expenditure which may include additional seismic acquisition, the drilling of three horizontal wells in 2021 and 2022, the fractured stimulation and completion of those wells, and the flow testing of them.

Managing director Alex Underwood welcomed the award of Federal Government grants to support its planned exploration and appraisal in the Beetaloo Basin.

“Our planning for further seismic acquisition and the drilling and completion of our first horizontal well, which will benefit from this grant funding, is progressing well. The NT Government approval process is well advanced and our subsurface and operational teams are carrying out preparatory engineering and drilling design works to prepare for this next phase of our field programs,” he said.

“Critical technical data gained from the ongoing flow testing of our vertical Carpentaria-1 will soon be analysed to assess gas composition (dry gas vs liquid hydrocarbons) and zonal contribution (i.e. how each of the four zones we have fracture stimulated in the Middle Velkerri shale is contributing to total production).”

Underwood added that the data will inform its approach to drilling the horizontal well in the fourth quarter of 2021, particularly which zone to land the horizontal section in, and how to fracture stimulate that well to maximise production.

Minister for Resources and Water Keith Pitt said under the Beetaloo cooperative drilling program, grants of up to $7.5 million per well are available to applicants.

“The Beetaloo Sub-basin is potentially a world-class gas resource which could create thousands of jobs and help bolster supplies of gas for the domestic market and for exports around the world,” Pitt said.