Pressure-pumper Liberty Energy Inc. has followed rig operator Helmerich & Payne (H&P) in U.S. wildcatters Bryan Sheffield and Dick Stoneburner’s development of Australian shale.

Liberty invested US$10 million in Australia-based Tamboran Resources and plans to send a frac fleet to the play in the Beetaloo Basin next year in northern Australia south of Darwin, Tamboran reported Dec. 15.

Liberty’s entry rounds out the upstream portion of Tamboran’s plan to develop the basin’s Marcellus-like rock—the Mid-Velkerri B—providing frac services in well completion post-H&P drilling.

The frac fleet is expected to arrive in 2024. H&P sent a modern rig, a FlexRig 3, to the play earlier this year.

In addition, Liberty is expected to provide in-basin sand-mining and handling expertise, Tamboran reported.

“Significant Beetaloo gas production could help energize Australia’s future and help meet Asia’s insatiable demand for natural gas to power economic growth, improve air quality and lower greenhouse gas emissions,” Chris Wright, Liberty chairman and CEO, said.

“Beetaloo development perfectly aligns with our broader mission to better human lives.”

Joel Riddle, Tamboran managing director and CEO, said the company “continues to partner with the best-in-class operating and technology companies to support the development of our assets.”

Liberty joining the play brings “unique intellectual property and modern stimulation technology into the Beetaloo Basin,” Riddle said. The entry “has the potential to reduce the delays experienced in mobilizing equipment to site, thereby significantly increasing completion efficiencies and reducing the costs of future stimulation programs.”

Riddle added that Liberty’s investment is its first outside of North America.

Separately, U.S. E&P operator and investor Bryan Sheffield has made an additional US$5 million investment in Tamboran. Based in Austin, Texas, Sheffield built and sold Permian Basin E&P Parsley Energy and is currently managing partner of another start-up, Formentera Partners.

Stoneburner, a geologist and former chief operating officer of Eagle Ford discoverer Petrohawk Energy, is Tamboran’s chairman.

Earlier this month, Tamboran completed its newest well, Shenandoah South 1H, in 10 stages along a 1,640-ft horizontal with 2,212 lbs of proppant per foot using slickwater, Tamboran reported. Results are expected upon completion of a 30-day test post-flowback.

Riddle said “operations went extremely well with the team achieving injection rates of up to 100 barrels per minute, a Beetaloo Basin rate record, and average proppant injection per stage of 356,000 pounds, in line with our initial design.

“The team engineered a repeatable stimulation formula, which is a significant milestone for Tamboran that is expected to lead to more efficient and lower cost programs in the future.”