AWE Limited believes the breakthrough Waitsia onshore gas discovery in Western Australia has the potential to become the company’s primary gas producing asset.

Boosted by a recent increase in reserves and the successful start-up of the first phase production, Waitsia is now on target for a significant expansion.

Discovered in September 2014, Waitsia came into commercial production in early August 2016 with the flow of first gas via the Waitsia Stage 1A development, which involves production of 10 terajoules per day (tj/day) from only two wells, the Waitsia-1 and Senecio-3 wells, via the Xyris Production Facility.

However, the proposed second stage expansion is looking to increase production to 100 tj/day from approximately 20 wells over an area of 50 square kilometres.

That potential expansion is helped by its location just 367 km north of Perth and in close proximity to major WA gas pipelines.

Already rated as the largest onshore gas discovery in Australia for the past 30 years, the onshore Perth Basin field received a significant boost in June when AWE and JV partner Origin Energy reported a 93 per cent in gross 2P Reserves to 344 billion cubic feet (Bcf) and a 34 per cent increase in Contingent Resources to 630 Bcf.

Announcing its FY results for the year ended June 30, 2016, AWE said planning and gas marketing is now underway for the next stage development of the field with the company targeting a final investment decision (FID) for Stage 2 in calendar year 2017.

In the lead up to that decision AWE and Origin will complete an independent reserves review, which is due to be published by the end of 2016, and drill two new appraisal wells in 2017.