Beach Energy in another exploration success with fresh gas discovery

Australian oil and gas company Beach Energy has made a gas discovery at the Artisan 1 well, located in licence VIC/P43 offshore Victorian Otway Basin in Australia, the second one in about four months.

Artisan 1 well location - Beach Energy
Artisan 1 well location; Source: Beach Energy

Beach Energy is the operator of the VIC/P43 licence in the offshore Victorian Otway Basin with a 60 per cent interest and O.G. Energy is its partner with the remaining 40 per cent interest.

The Artisan 1 exploration well was spudded by the Diamond Offshore-owned Ocean Onyx rig on 23 February, approximately 30 kilometres offshore Victoria, marking the start of Beach’s offshore drilling campaign.

The well was initially scheduled for drilling in 1Q or 2Q of 2020, but it suffered delays due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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In an update on Monday, Beach Energy said that the well was drilled to a total depth of 2,205 metres measured depth (MD) and penetrated the primary Upper Waarre Formation at 1,921 metres MD, approximately 92 metres high to prognosis.

According to the company, the well intersected a gross gas column of 69.5 metres in the Upper Waarre Formation, including 62.9 metres of net gas pay, with a gaswater contact intersected at 1,990 metres MD.

A gross gas column of 20.9 metres was also intersected in the secondary target of the Flaxman Formation from 1902.8 metres MD, with net gas pay of 4.6 metres.

The well is being cased and suspended as a future producer with an opportunity to tie into the offshore pipeline, currently delivering gas from the offshore Thylacine and Geographe fields to the Otway Gas Plant, at a later date.

Beach Energy Managing Director and CEO, Matt Kay, said the result, which follows the success of the Enterprise well in November 2020, provides Beach with further optionality across its Otway Basin portfolio.

“Beginning our Otway campaign with two exploration successes is a good result for Beach”, Kay said.

“While the Artisan discovery is at the lower end of pre-drill expectations, it is being cased as a future producer. Drilling operations have gone to plan and I want to commend the teams working on the Ocean Onyx for the successful start to the campaign”.

Beach also said that the rig will move to the Geographe field after the casing operations and start the first of two in-field development wells before moving to the Thylacine field for an additional four in-field wells.

The first gas from the new Geographe wells is expected to start in FY22.