SENEX Energy has drilled 12 oil wells in the March quarter which have been cased and suspended for further testing and production.

The Brisbane-based company produced 300,000 barrels of oil during the quarter.

Senex said this result was lower than expected, primarily due to earlier than anticipated pressure decline at the Growler oilfield which the company said would be addressed through a water injection project in the 2015 financial year.

However, Senex said the commencement of western f lank drilling in the March quarter, coupled with the completion and connection of successful wells, had already delivered a rapid production increase in the fourth quarter.

“We are very pleased to see material oil production from Spitfire, Burruna and Acrasia oil fields come on line in recent weeks,” Senex managing director Ian Davies said.

“This ramp up will continue into the first quarter of FY15.”

The Cooper basin-focused junior said its drilling campaign remained on schedule, with the company having drilled 27 wells in the nine months to the end of March. Out of those wells, 25 had been cased and suspended for further testing and production.

During the March quarter, Senex and its joint venture partners drilled 12 oil wells in the Cooper-Eromanga basin as part of the 30-well program of predominantly appraisal and development drilling.

At the western f lank in the Cooper basin, Senex said the appraisal program was delivering positive results with four appraisal wells cased and suspended for future production. Senex plans to drill a series of exploration wells on the western f lank, starting in the June quarter.

During the quarter, Senex and Origin Energy agreed to evaluate tight gas sands in two key areas of South Australia’s Cooper-Eromanga basin. The venture involves a work program of up to $252 million for a two-stage work program involving the drilling of at least 15 wells and substantial 2D and 3D seismic acquisition programs. Completion of the transaction expected by the end of June, with drilling slated to start in early 2015.

Senex achieved a 15.8 per cent year-on-year rise in revenue to $37.3 during the three months to 31 March thanks to a strong US dollar Brent oil price, it said.

The company spent $22 million on exploration and appraisal throughout the March quarter, up from $20.7 million in the December quarter. The company ended the period with no debt and cash in the bank of $91 million.

Senex expects production for the current financial year to come in at the lower end of its guidance of between 1.4 million and 1.6mmbls.