Sydney, Australia-based Empire Energy Group Ltd. said Aug. 11 it has executed a rig services contract with Schlumberger to drill the Carpentaria-1 well in Northern Territory’s onshore Beetaloo Basin.
Plans are for the rig—Schlumberger Land Rig 183—to drill to a depth of about 2,900 m, allowing Empire to evaluate the targeted Velkerri Shale and Kyalla Shale, the company said in a news release.
“The execution of the drilling contract with Schlumberger represents a key milestone as we unlock the world-class potential of our Northern Territory shale oil and gas resource,” Empire Energy Managing Director Alex Underwood said in the release.
Empire said the well’s design allows for future re-entry, fracture stimulation and flow testing, which is set to start following northern Australia’s wet season. The well, the company said, is “the precursor to a planned multi-staged fracture stimulated and tested horizontal section which may be drilled from the same wellbore.”
Initial work is scheduled to begin around Aug. 17 with the well spud in mid-September.
Underwood said Empire will be the second company—following Origin Energy—to drill a well in the basin since a moratorium was lifted in 2019.
The oil and gas industry’s preference in November’s election has become less clear cut.
The combined company, which will be named Devon Energy, will create a leading unconventional oil producer in the U.S. with a dominant Delaware Basin acreage position.
A conventional, stratigraphic trap in Scurry County on the Permian Basin’s Eastern Shelf doesn’t cover hundreds of thousands of acres like shale plays. But the wells are just as good. And, for private wildcatters, they’re particularly great.