The well was also the joint venture’s third consecutive well to be cased and suspended as potential future gas/condensate producers, following successes at the Rossco and Udacha wildcats.
Middleton-1 flowed gas from a 10m interval within the Patchawarra Formation between 2653 and 2663m, through a choke size of 5/8 inch at 1170psi.
Beach, which fully funded and operated the well, has interpreted about 7m of net gas pay within this interval. An additional 3-9m of gas pay is expected in other sands penetrated by the well, the partners said.
“The high productivity of the Middleton test, combined with additional potential within the well and structure make Middleton one of the more exciting gas prospects in the Cooper Basin in recent years,” Beach managing director Reg Nelson said today.
“Further evaluation will need to be carried out, however, before the joint venture can obtain a truer picture of the gas reserves addressed within the Middleton structure.”
Meanwhile, Great Artesian chairman Norm Zillman said: “PEL 106 is shaping up to become a potentially important new gas/condensate province in the South Australian Cooper Basin, given the close proximity of the Middleton, Udacha, Smegsy, Rossco and Raven accumulations.”
“These results confirm the viability of Great Artesian’s strategic permit holdings in this western flank of the Patchawarra Trough with 60% interest in PEL 91 and PEL 107 and retaining a 100% ownership of PEL 106 whilst farming out on a prospect-by-prospect basis.”
The Middleton well is 6km north-east of the Santos-operated Raven gas field and 8km south-east of the Great Artesian-operated Smegsy gas field. The discovery follows on from Beach’s recently drilled wildcat discovery, Udacha-1, which is only 5km to the north-east.
Drilled to a total depth of 2841m in the Merrimelia Formation, Middleton-1 tested an anticlinal structure within the Beach Farmin Block portion of PEL 106.
The Patchawarra Formation was the primary target for the Middleton Prospect, which had a pre-drill estimate that showed it contains a potential of up to 3 million barrels of oil or about 15 billion cubic feet of gas.
Great Artesian and Beach will each hold a 50% stake in any subsequent petroleum production licence.