EMPIRE Oil and Gas confirmed its Red Gully North 1 (RGN 1) exploration well had delivered 53 metres of gas pay at depths of between 3,725 metres and 4,074 metres in EP 389 onshore Western Australia.

Empire chief executive Ken Aitken said the amount of gas pay logged in RGN 1 exceeded the company’s predrill expectations.

“Our technical team is now focused on delivering successful completion and flow testing in early 2016 to determine flow rates from the well,” he said.

Completion and testing operations are scheduled to commence in March or April 2016, subject to rig availability, completion equipment delivery and government approval processes, Empire said.

“Provided we achieve satisfactory results from flow rates and volumetric assessment, RGN 1 will play an important role in strengthening Empire’s existing production hub, leveraging the company’s 100 per cent-owned infrastructure, further improving production margins and significantly increasing cashflow,” he said.

Gas and condensate produced from the well will be used either to increase the life of the nearby Red Gully processing facility or to expand Empire’s production capability beyond its current limit of 10 terajoules per day.

Other data collected from the well would be utilised to support any future drilling, most likely on the Lockyer Deep and Raven prospects on permit areas EP 368 and EP 432, he said.

Empire will now carry out a production completion program, using a smaller workover rig, with a comprehensive well testing program planned to determine gas deliverability, gas condensate ratios and to recover gas and condensate samples.