Norwest and MinRes subsidiary Energy Resources spud Lockyer Deep-1 in EP368 last month, using the Ensign 970 rig, sharing the project in a 20-80 split.
The top of the Kingia Sandstone was intersected at 4041m and was marked by a significant drilling break and elevated gas readings. High gas readings were encountered across a gross sand interval of 26-4067me, with good, inferred porosities throughout with a high net/gross ratio.
Elevated gas readings continue throughout the Kingia section with sandstones to the top Bit Basher Shale at 4109m and no gas water contact has been recorded, supporting the case for a very significant resource potential across the greater Lockyer Deep/North Erregulla Deep structure.
Norwest noted elevated gas readings were also observed within the High Cliff Sandstone from 4172m and 4214m alongside the previously announced additional hydrocarbon potential within the shallower Dongara and Wagina Formations. It said oil fluorescence was observed over a 158m (gross) section from the Dongara Sandstone and into the Wagina Formation.
Fair-to-good oil shows were observed within the upper 68m of this interval.
Norwest has begun a comprehensive wireline logging program across the entire bottom hole section in order to fully appraise the four intervals and plans for production testing are already underway.
Norwest managing director Iain Smith described the discovery as transformational for the company and thanked Energy Resources, headed by his predecessor Shelley Robertson. The company is also the largest shareholder in Norwest.
"We eagerly anticipate the results of the wireline testing program and look forward to updating shareholders on the forward appraisal program once results are available," he said.
The well is Norwest's first since the near-shore Xanadu, spud back in 2017, with then-partners Whitebark and Triangle.
Energy Resources is the largest petroleum acreage holder in the Perth Basin, with permits covering more than 7300sq.km. It also holds the largest petroleum acreage in the onshore Northern Carnarvon Basin. Combined it holds a position across the state of 13,629sq.km.
"The success at Lockyer Deep-1 exploration well is a fantastic start to our significant gas exploration program, as we seek to provide natural gas to power our own operations in conjunction with renewable energy sources such as solar and wind," MinRes managing director Chris Ellison said.
Norwest Energy shares are up 93% at 1.5c. MinRes shares were up 0.5% at $52.06.