WA’s tight gas frustration

THE Yulleroo field’s prospective resources in the Canning Basin have soared to 611 petajoules of tight gas in the high case with 24.8 million barrels of associated liquids – not that Buru Energy can do anything with it due to Western Australia’s frac ban.

Anthony Barich | 18 January 2018

RISC Advisory’s assessment of the Yulleroo field in Exploration Permits 391 and 436 has resulted in huge increases in the resources compared to the firm’s previous one done in 2011.

The firm assessed contingent resources for sales gas net to Buru at 321.4PJ (1C), 714PJ (2C) and 1267PJ (3C), with prospective resources net to the oiler of 124.6PJ (low case), 302.8PJ (best) and 611PJ (high), with 11.9MMbbl of associated liquids in the best case.

This is a huge increase from the 54PJ (1C), 205PJ (2C) and 846PJ (3C) in gross contingent resources which RISC estimated in May 2011.

The increase stems from a combination of the unconventional resource being re-evaluated from new data from drilling the Yulleroo-3 and 4 wells and incorporating new tight rock analysis data and analogue results from said data and fracture stimulation of the Valhalla North 1 and Asgard 1 wells in EP371.

Yulleroo 3D seismic interpretation done in 2013 was also incorporated, while the increase also came courtesy of transfers from prospective to contingent resources thanks to the new data.

Yulleroo 4 discovered gas in a similar setting to the other Yulleroo wells, and Buru said the new data increased the confidence in extending the discovered area within well control from 17.5sq.km to 59sq.km.

Buru increasing its interest in the field and the underlying permits from 50% to 100% following the asset swap with Mitsubishi Corporation last year also helped boost the numbers.

While more data needs to be acquired and vertical and horizontal wells to be drilled along with extended production tests to determine commerciality, the field’s forward plan can’t be progressed due to the WA government’s fraccing moratorium.

WA’s government gazetted regulations last month confirming its earlier ban on fraccing in the South-West, Peel and Perth regions and supporting a wider state-wide moratorium already implemented.

That moratorium has already forced Whitebark Energy to put its Warro field on hold while awaiting a 12-month independent scientific inquiry which industry calls a “waste of money”.

What Buru does know is that there is extensive production from tight gas reservoirs internationally and there is a well-understood and systematic process which can be done to progress the resources to commercial production.

Should the ban be lifted, Buru believes developing the resource would bring “substantial” benefits to the area’s traditional owners and the state, along with local customers and the Kimberley generally.

The Australian Energy Market Operator’s December Gas Statement of Opportunities said that the current level of 2P reserves would not meet WA’s gas demand post-2022, and further exploration will be needed for base potential supply to meet demand.

AEMO’s worst case scenario is an “unlikely” low potential supply scenario which says WA will be as much as 155TJ/day short in 2021 and further tightening to 2023, but believes domgas prices should respond to forecast demand and encourage further supply.

Buru is trading at 37.5c.

Original article posted on Energy New Bulletin.


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