CORE data acquired from onshore permits L1 and L2 in the northern Perth basin has allowed AWE to upgrade the gross proved and probable (2P) reserves at its Waitsia gas field by 93 per cent.

Gross reserves at the field were placed at 344 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of gas, up from the 178 Bcf found during a study in August 2015.

Net reserves were also higher, up to 172 Bcf from 89 Bcf.

The upgrade came from analysis of new core data from the Waitsia 1 and Waitsia 2 wells as well as further analysis of well test data from the Senecio 3 and Waitsia 1 wells.

AWE managing director David Biggs said modelling showed an initial plateau rate of about 100 terajoules (TJ) per day could be achieved from six wells in a full field development, with three wells already drilled.

“Using the data gathered from the three appraisal wells drilled to date, we have made substantial progress on field modelling and we are currently finalising concept selection options for the full field development of Waitsia and surrounding fields,” he said.

“Construction and technical work for Stage 1A of the Waitsia gas project is proceeding on time and budget and we anticipate delivering contracted initial volumes of 10 TJ/day (gross) of gas into the Western Australia domestic market from the third quarter.”

AWE plans to drill another two appraisal wells on the Waitsia field in 2017, which Mr Biggs said had the potential to unlock further reserves and resources in the south-eastern extent of the field.

“If successful, these will be completed as future production wells,” he said.

AWE aims to drill and complete six production wells to achieve its initial plateau rate and a total of 15 to 20 wells over the expected 20-plus year life of the field.

The wells will be connected to a centralised gas processing facility using existing nearby gas pipelines to export to domestic markets.

AWE holds a 50% operating stake in the L1 and L2 fields with Origin Energy holding the remaining 50%.

Origin is operator of the nearby EP 320 permit with a 67% stake, while AWE holds the remainder.