Australia's Norwest Energy confirmed Thursday that the onshore Arrowsmith-2 well in the Perth Basin, already a highly prospective shale gas target, could be a potential oil producer.
Arrowsmith-2 – which was fractured in five zones – demonstrated the presence of hydrocarbons in all the zones. The lower shale zones – the lower and middle Carynginia and the Irwin River Coal Measures – are classified by Norwest as potential shale gas producers. The High Cliff Sandstone is expected to deliver a significantly higher rate of gas than its original estimate of 777 million standard cubic feet per day once the zone is fully cleaned up, while the topmost Kockatea Shale showed oil and gas flows at 8,658 feet to 8,796 feet (2,639 meters to 2,681 meters).
A company spokesperson told Rigzone on Thursday that fracture stimulation of the Kockatea Shale was completed on 1 September, 2012, with a strong gas flare igniting almost immediately after flow back started. The well was temporarily shut-in when it was discovered that oil was being produced to surface in the early stages of flow back and testing. The spokesperson also confirmed that operations have been resumed on Thursday and that the well is flowing back oil, gas and injected water to the surface.
Norwest is aiming to complete clean-up activities in the Kockatea Shale to establish gas and oil flow rates in the zone. After an extended production testing phase, the company will release a contingent resource estimate. The spokesperson said that there is no firm time period decided on the extended production testing phase, as the length of the testing program is dependent on on-site results which cannot be clearly ascertained at present.
After the Kockatea testing program is completed, Norwest could propose to its partners to re-enter the Arrowsmith-2 well to re-commence flow back and clean up of the lower zones to establish flow back for each of the respective zones. The stakeholders in the Arrowsmith joint venture are: Norwest (27.945%), AWE (44.252%) and Bharat PetroResources (27.803%). Norwest is the operator of the JV.
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