Buru Energy Limited revealed Monday that the Laurel Formation Tight Gas Pilot Exploration Program in the Canning Basin in Western Australia has been approved by the Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP).
DMP approval of the program now completes the regulatory approval process required for the program to proceed.
It comes after the Environment Minister upheld on June 16 the Environmental Protection Authority’s conclusion that Buru Energy’s “small scale, limited duration ‘proof of concept’ exploration proposal is unlikely to have a significant effect on the environment” and that the DMP was the appropriate regulatory agency to assess and monitor the program.
The DMP’s determination included approval of the Environment Plan, as well as Operational and Safety Plans for the program.
The program will commence with preliminary site preparation during this year’s Kimberley dry season and the overall program will involve stimulation of tight gas zones in existing vertical exploration wells to assess their geological and commercial potential. The zones to be stimulated or fracced are in the geological unit known as the Laurel Formation, between 1.2 miles and 2.4 miles (2 and 4 kilometers) below the surface.
The program is the first stage of a possible multi-stage exploration, appraisal and development program for tight gas which would be undertaken over several years, subject to demonstrating commercial viability and continued regulatory approvals.
If, in the long-term, the resource proves to be commercially viable, gas from the Canning Basin would supply the Western Australian industrial and domestic markets. Under a State Agreement which includes its Joint Venture partner Mitsubishi, Buru Energy is targeting the initial delivery of 1,500 petajoules of gas into the WA domestic market, enough to supply Perth residential customers for over 80 years.
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