THE WAITSIA field in Western Australia is capable of producing gas at commercial rates, operator AWE says, sparking hopes the onshore project may prove to be a significant development.

The Senecio 3 well, drilled at the Perth basin project, achieved an average gas flow rate of 12.3 million standard cubic feet per day from the conventional Kingia interval with no stimulation during the second stage of a testing program.

The well will be shut in for a brief pressure build-up survey prior to a series of flow tests at various choke settings, rates and well head pressures over the next week.

This will be followed by an extended pressure build-up survey with the full testing program expected to be completed by mid-April.

Gas from the well was predominantly methane with only minor levels of carbon dioxide present, AWE said in an announcement.

The fields are located near the town of Dongara and in close proximity to the Dampier-Bunbury Pipeline.

AWE managing director Bruce Clement said the Waitsia gas field had the potential to be a significant source of gas for the WA domestic market.

“The Waitsia gas field represents an estimated gross 2C Contingent Resource of 290 billion cubic feet of gas with significant upside of up to 1.17 trillion cubic feet of gas and we are planning to drill two additional appraisal wells on the Waitsia field this year to better define its full potential,” he said.

“AWE is also undertaking engineering studies on potential low cost, early stage development of the Waitsia gas field using existing gas plants and pipeline infrastructure to deliver gas into the WA domestic market.”

Further appraisal of the Waitsia field is planned for late May with the drilling of the Waitsia-1 well, three kilometres to the east of Senecio-3 in L1/L2.

This well will follow the planned Irwin-1 exploration well in EP320 (operated by AWE under an agency agreement with joint venture partner Origin Energy) that is scheduled to spud in late March.

Irwin-1 will target multiple reservoir objectives including the Kingia and High Cliff Sandstones, about 6 kilometres east of the Senecio-Waitsia Fields.