The Jaws-1 appraisal well

Jaws-1 sinks its teeth into historic Strike oil and gas well

Oil and gas explorer Strike Energy announced this week it has spudded Jaws-1, intended to be the deepest pure coal seam gas well drilled in the southern hemisphere and quite possibly one of the deepest in the world.

The new well is essentially an exploratory well in the Southern Cooper basin in South Australia that will investigate Strike’s theory that its coal seem gas deposit can still yield gas even from 2km below surface.

The theory is based on Strike’s view that its gas deposit sits in a unique “saddle shaped” geological formation that does not exude the usual pressures that mostly prevent coal seam gas from being extracted from those depths.

The ASX-listed, Adelaide-based company said the vertical intercept well broke dirt after a meticulous start-up to ensure the powerful Ensign 965 drill rig is at full operational capability.

Strike Energy are leaving nothing to chance with a drilling program that is on the cusp of making history as a first of its kind in Australia.

The success or otherwise of the well will no doubt be keenly followed by market participants.

After being drilled to its target depth of 2km, Jaws-1 will then extend 800m horizontally for a seven-stage hydraulic stimulation program.

Most coal seam gas wells do not venture below 700m depths however Jaws-1, will test its resource which is sitting in a geological formation that Strike believes is shielding the hydrocarbons from high pressures that would characteristically prevent gas from flowing from such extreme depths. The unusually thick reservoir also has a pay zone of 30m, which is six times larger than a typical Queensland coal seam pay zone that taps out at around 5m in thickness.

Strike Energy are chasing a big prize estimated at up to 11Tcf of gas in the Southern Cooper Basin Gas Project. The spudding of Jaws-1 represents a ground-breaking event in the history of Strike, which has a 66.67% interest in the project with Energy World Corporation holding the balance of 33.33%.

Strike said, ‘The production of commercial flow rates of gas from the Jaws-1 well is the final technical milestone required to appraise the quality of Strike’s Southern Cooper Basin Gas Project.’

Strike Managing Director Stuart Nicholls said, “The spud of the Jaws-1 well is the culmination point in what has been a major turnaround for Strike. The new team at Strike have completed almost a full year of work in preparation for this milestone, which has seen the company redefine its geological, technical, commercial and economic foundations.”

“Armed with our new strategic direction, Strike has successfully designed and procured the services and equipment required to execute Jaws-1 in partnership with Halliburton. The timing of this ground-breaking well is critical to Australia’s energy security and may indeed be one of the highest impact well results in the East Coast gas landscape in 2018.”

“Jaws-1 is the precursor to having the final data and information required to book a reserve, which will then trigger the beginning of the development phase of the Southern Cooper Gas basin project.

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