Partner Rawson Resources told the Australian Stock Exchange this morning that reverse circulation of the drill-string only recovered watery mud with some associated gassy odour.
During drilling, the Showgrounds Sandstone was intersected at a depth of 2263m where elevated gas readings and fluorescence were recorded over a 19m interval.
Operator Ausam Resources now plans to continue drilling ahead into the sandstone to the planned Stage 1 total depth of 2368m, as well as run wireline logs and conduct further evaluation. The well will then be cased and suspended in preparation for Stage 2 operations.
Stage 2 involves deepening the well in October to a total depth of 2500m to evaluate the primary Permian reservoir target interval, equivalent to that which produced at Bellbird-1, 4km away.
Potential recoverable reserves from the Permian objective alone for the Bellbird West Prospect are between 300,000 and 1.6 million barrels of oil.
Both Ausam and Rawson will earn a 25% in the ATP 552P permit, by paying 50% each of the cost of the well, from Great Artesian Oil and Gas.