REAL Energy Corporation will start drilling a project in the Cooper basin in September after signing a deal with Ensign International.

Real has contracted Ensign’s Rig 916 to drill one well in its wholly-owned ATP 927 P permit area, with preparation of field operations already underway.

The well, Tamarama 1, will start drilling early next month, with Real also having the option to drill two additional wells, Avalon 1 and West Flynnes 1.

Tamarama-1 well is Real’s first exploration well in the Cooper basin, and is aimed at confirming the presence of basin centred gas in the Toolachee and Patchawarra formations.

It also aims to determine reservoir producibility and to obtain samples from the Toolebuc Shale.

The well is expected to take about two and a half weeks to drill and complete from spud date.

The company will decide whether or not to proceed with drilling the other wells subject to results from Tamarama 1, with successful wells to be cased and suspended for flow testing in early 2015.

“Any success or failure in this drill program does not have implications for the presence of other forms of hydrocarbons, and management looks forward to testing the other prospective conventional oil and shale oil and gas plays within Real’s acreage in future drilling programs,” the company said in an announcement.

Real managing director Scott Brown said the company’s drilling program followed extensive seismic data analysis and wireline logs from previously drilled petroleum exploration wells in the area.

“This drilling program will focus on the basin centred gas play, which we expect is present over the whole area of ATP927P permit at depth from approximately 2,200 metres to over 3,000 metres,” he said.

“We are pleased to be moving to the next phase of exploration and development of this significant asset which is situated in a proven hydrocarbon province,” he said.

ATP 927P is surrounded by proven and producing gas and oil fields operated by Santos, and gas production is being used to feed growing demand for east coast gas, the company said.