Beach Energy plans record drilling in next 12 months

Aug. 29, 2019
Beach Energy Ltd., Adelaide, plans to be involved in as many as 194 wells in its June 2019-June 2020 financial year (FY20)—a record easily surpassing the 134 wells drilled in FY19.

Beach Energy Ltd., Adelaide, plans to be involved in as many as 194 wells in its June 2019-June 2020 financial year (FY20)—a record easily surpassing the 134 wells drilled in FY19.

The company said the program will be led by a doubling to 84 the number of wells drilled in the Cooper basin’s Western Flank in South Australia. Beach will also drill 103 wells in the Cooper basin next year as part of the Santos Ltd.-led Cooper basin joint venture.

The FY20 figures are rounded off with two wells planned for the onshore Otway basin of South Australia and four more in the offshore Victorian sector of the basin. There will also be one well in the onshore North Perth basin of Western Australia.

Western Flank work

In more detail, Beach plans to accelerate its investment strategy in the Western Flank to unlock the remaining oil potential. Some $200 million (Aus.) will be spent in the region looking specifically for oil. This will involve as many as 77 wells—36 of them exploration or appraisal and 41 development (including as many as 17 horizontal wells).

About 15% of the Western Flank investment will go towards infrastructure expansion and debottlenecking. There will also be a continued roll-out of the company’s appraisal work on Bauer field, including Bauer field itself and nearby Parsons, Callawonga, Hanson, and Kalladeina-Congony complexes.

The FY20 focus for Western Flank gas will involve probable further appraisal drilling at Lowry and Middleton fields to increase reserves and extend plateau production or expand capacity. There also will be the drilling of 3-5 prospects previously delineated by the Spondylus 3D seismic survey. These wells aim to extend a proven stratigraphic and evaluate new exploration plays.

As a member of the Cooper basin JV with interests varying from 20.76% to 52.2%, Beach says about 100 wells are planned for FY20. These will include follow-up development proposed for the Moomba South area following a successful appraisal campaign in FY19.

Other work

The JV also will carry out more appraisal and development work in southwest Queensland and run a horizontal well pilot program across the Cooper basin Permian-age reservoirs.

The Otway basin work offshore Victoria in FY20 will involve extended reach directional wells at Black Watch and Enterprise gas fields as well as an exploration well called Artisan-1. There may also be some development drilling in La Bella gas field.

In the onshore Otway of South Australia there will be the drilling of wildcat Dombey-1 in permit PEL 494 to the west of the Katnook production facility. East of Katnook, appraisal of Haselgrove will continue with the testing of Haselgrove-4 drilled last year. At Katnook itself, the 10-terajoules/day plant expansion is scheduled to come on stream early in January 2020.

In the onshore sector of the North Perth basin, Beach, with 50% interest and operatorship, is planning to drill the Beharra Springs Deep-1 well. It also will begin construction of its 50%-held Waitsia Stage 1 gas expansion as well as reach a final investment decision on Waitsia Stage 2.

Looking further ahead, Beach expects to spend $35 million (Aus.) for its share of the BP PLC-operated and much anticipated Ironbark-1 wildcat offshore Carnarvon basin of Western Australia in FY21.

On the international front FY21 will also see drilling of the fancied Wherry prospect in the Canterbury basin off the southwest coast of the South Island of New Zealand.