Valaris MS-1 rig

Western Gas finds partner to help with drilling costs for Australian well

Western Australian company Western Gas has reached an agreement with Global Oil and Gas to fund 50 per cent of the drilling costs for the high impact Sasanof-1 exploration well located offshore Australia.

Valaris MS-1 rig; Source: Valaris

The Sasanof-1 exploration well is in WA-519-P in Commonwealth waters about 207 km northwest of Onslow, Western Australia, and is scheduled to drill in 1Q 2022.

Independent assessment by ERC Equipoise Ltd (ERCE) of the Sasanof Prospect estimates a 2U Prospective Resource of 7.2 Tcf gas and 176 Million bbls condensate (P501), with a 32 per cent chance of success. The high case 3U Prospective Resource estimate is for 17.8 Tcf gas and 449 Million bbls condensate (P10).

Western Gas said on Tuesday that the agreement will see Global Oil and Gas fund 50 per cent of the cost of drilling the Sasanof-1 exploration well through a 25 per cent acquisition of Western Gas (519 P) Pty Ltd, the licence holder for WA-519-P.

The Sasanof Prospect is on-trend and updip of the Mentorc gas and condensate field and nearby the giant gas fields of Scarborough and Io-Jansz in the Carnarvon Basin. The liquids-rich, low C02 Mentorc field is the eastern fault block and is “filled to spill” into the updip Sasanof Prospect to the west.

Western Gas has already secured the Valaris MS-1 rig to drill the well. Drilling will start at the earliest in mid-February 2022, subject to approvals, with an estimated total campaign duration of 25 days. The company has also already filed its environment plan for the well to Australian authorities.

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In addition, Western Gas has contracted specialist well engineering and drilling management company AGR to manage the Sasanof drilling campaign.

Sasanof-1 will be a vertical well and drilled to a total depth of approximately 2500 m in 1070 m of water, providing a low cost, high impact exploration activity in a known and proven hydrocarbon province. Drilling costs are estimated at $20 million.

Will Barker, Western Gas Executive Director, said: “We are delighted to have Global Oil and Gas on board to support this important drilling campaign that, on success, has the potential to be a game-changer for the North West Shelf at a time of declining production and expected gas shortages.

“A discovery of the estimated size of Sasanof will provide multiple gas supply opportunities, including domestic gas, LNG backfill and expansion, and new value-adding industries”.