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Australia: Statoil joins Georgina basin shale venture

PetroFrontier Corp., Calgary, plans to conduct a 10-stage frac in the Lower Arthur Creek "hot shale" at each of its three wells in a joint venture with Statoil Australia Oil & Gas AS in the southern Georgina basin in Australia's Northern Territory.

The company has spudded Owen-3, third of the three wells, that is projected to 1,280 m as a high-angle pilot hole in the eastern part of EP 104. Statoil is crediting PetroFrontier with exploration expenditures previously incurred in 2012 and will contribute 50% of the costs associated with the project.

Owen-3 will be drilled through the Lower Arthur Creek "hot shale" and into the Thorntonian carbonate. PetroFrontier will core the Lower Arthur Creek and then log the well. The core will provide technical information to enhance PetroFrontier's understanding of formation lithology that will aid in optimizing the frac design and reservoir modeling.

Owen-3 will be plugged back a short distance and then deviated horizontally for about 1,000 m into the primary target zone. Drilling of Owen-3 is expected to take 4-5 weeks.

After drilling Owen-3H, PetroFrontier intends to conduct a ten-stage fracture stimulation program at each of its three wells in the following order: MacIntyre-2H, Baldwin-2Hst1, and Owen-3H. In order to maximize operational efficiencies, the wells will then be flow tested in the reverse order.

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