Analysis of Galilee JV's Nora-1 Well Shows Less than Expected Gas Content

Australia's Exoma Energy and Chinese state-owned company CNOOC disclosed Wednesday that the seventh oil and gas exploration well drilled by the Galilee joint venture – the formal name used for the partnership between the two companies in the Galilee Basin – could yield a gas content lower than initially expected.

The Nora-1 well – located onshore in central Queensland in the permit ATP 991P – was drilled to a depth of 4,914 feet (1,498 meters) where it encountered a 55-foot (17-meter) section of Toolebuc shale, Exoma said in a statement on Wednesday. The well was subsequently suspended as a water monitoring bore.

EDA #2, the rig used in the drilling of the well, has been released and is being mobilized to the Wardoo-1 well on Wednesday, Exoma's CEO Rob Cook told Rigzone in a telephone interview. Cook expects the drilling of Wardoo-1 to be completed in 20 days.

After drilling Wardoo-1, EDA #2 will be released as the JV's coal seam gas exploration program for this year will then be completed.

EDA #1, the second rig contracted by the JV, will continue operating in permits ATP 1005P and ATP 1008P until the end of this year. EDA #1 has been scheduled to drill four to five additional wells in the two permits, Cook added.

Exoma has a 50-percent interest in five large exploration permits in the Galilee Basin: ATP 991P, ATP 996P, ATP 999P, ATP 1005P and ATP 1008P. These permits cover an area of approximately 10,000 square miles (27,000 square kilometers) of the Eromanga and Galilee Basins. CNOOC, under the entity, CNOOC Galilee Gas Company, is earning a 60 percent stake in the five permits through a farm-in agreement of $65 million (AUD 63 million).

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