Austral perforates test zone at Cardiff-2A, prepares for fraccing

OPERATOR Austral Pacific Energy has successfully perforated the third and top test zone at its strategic onshore Taranaki, New Zealand Cardiff-2A gas well. It is now preparing to frac the top zone within the Eocene-aged Kapuni Group.

Wellington-headquartered Austral said yesterday afternoon that after perforation the well, in licence PEP 38738, had flowed up to 300 barrels per day of tubing fluids back to the surface.

The zone would be hydraulically fractured to enhance its productivity during the next few days. But stabilised flow test results were not now expected until late next month as a coil tubing clean-out of frac sand in the wellbore still had to occur, according to Austral chief executive Dave Bennett.

“All three test zones have now shown that they can flow, and enough gas has accompanied the fluids during lifting to surface to sustain a flare through the sand and fluids in the well bore,” Bennett said.

“However, reliable estimates of likely flow rates post clean-up are not possible at this stage.”

Bennett has previously said the 15m top interval is within the McKee sands, the 20m middle zone within the Kapuni 1A sands, and the 60m bottom zone within the K3 sands.

No stabilised flow results had yet been obtained and no reserves assigned for Cardiff-2A. But earlier this year Canadian independent consultants Sproule International estimated “probabilistic” reserves in place exceeding 215 bcf (50%) and 341 bcf (10%), plus 12.8 million (50%) and 21.5 million barrels (10%) of condensate.

Elsewhere in the same permit, stable crude flow rates above 400 bopd had resumed at the Cheal-A3X well following a deep wax cut. Total production since jet-pumping started last month was exceeds 8500 barrels of oil.

The PEP 38738 shallow partners are: operator Austral (36.5%), Cheal Petroleum (30.5%) and International Resource Management (33%). The PEP 38738 deep partners are: operator Austral (25.1%), Genesis Energy (40%), Cheal Petroleum (15.1%) and IRM (19.8%).