WORK carried out by AWE to appraise the potential of the recently-discovered Waitsia gas field in the Perth basin is continuing, with the company set to begin six weeks of flow testing at the Senecio 3 well in late January.

The company is also preparing to drill additional appraisal wells at Waitsia gas field later this year, with depth mapping having identified four potential appraisal well sites, two of which will be chosen for drilling.

AWE is working on a gas marketing strategy for the Waitsia field, with it and the Senecio field said to have a combined gross 2C contingent of 360 bcf of gas.

The company also provided an update on their Drover 1 exploration well, which has delivered bad news for the prospectivity of the Kockatea shale formation.

In reviewing logs and well data collected from last July’s drilling, the company found despite good shows, a high clay content and low rock strength meant natural fracturing was unlikely and hydraulic fracturing unfeasible, meaning achieving a commercial flow rate was unlikely.

The company was able to identify three Kockatea intervals with a lower clay content and will now undertake a diagnostic fracture injection test on the plays to determine their potential for fracture stimulation.

As part of the study, the company had collected 21.5 metres of core from the Kockatea shale formation and sidewall cores from the Carynginia shale, Irwin River coal measures, and High Cliff sandstone.

The data showed a 700 metre interval in the Kockatea shale lies within the optimum wet gas generation window, and a 250 metre section of the Beekeeper Limestone and Carynginia shale formations was mature for dry gas generation.

AWE also gave an update on their Origin-operated Dongara/Wagina tight gas EP320 and L1 prospect, with preparations for the Irwin 1 exploration well said to be considerably advanced.

“Irwin 1 will be drilled through the target formations to also test the deeper formations in the Caryngina shale, the Irwin River coal measures, and the Kingia and High Cliff sandstones,” the company said in a statement.

“Drilling is planned to commence towards the end of the first quarter of calendar year 2015.”

The joint venture is also considering drilling an exploration well in the Trapdoor prospect, near the Beharra Springs gas facility, in financial year 2015-16.

AWE also provided an update of its activities in permit EP143, where operator Norwest Energy is set to acquire a 3D seismic survey over about 110 square kilometres around the Arrowsmith 2 well.

Subject to regulatory approvals, the survey is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2015.