Located about 30km from Busselton, the Whicher Range gas reserves are estimated at up to four trillion cubic feet, which is roughly twice the total volume of domestic gas supplied by the North West Shelf over the last 20 years.
The project has presented technical challenges to previous operators, however, Amity Oil has introduced a number of technical developments to the project in order to commercialise the field, which would provide a competitive alternative energy supply for both industrial and domestic use.
"It is foreseeable that competitively priced gas from the Whicher Range field could assist the state to achieve its long-held ambition of an aluminium smelter and could underpin the expansion of both the Kemerton Industrial Estate and the Port of Bunbury," Brown said.
The Whicher Range field was discovered in 1968 and drilled near the centre of a large domal structure approximately 12km by 6km in size. Two wells, Whicher Range-1 and 4, are presently capable of producing at about one million cubic feet per day and three million cubic feet per day, respectively.
In 1999, Amity successfully increased the gas flow in the Whicher Range-4 well, from about one million cubic feet per day to about 3 million cubic feet per day, with a pilot liquid carbon dioxide frac (fracture stimulation operation). This was the first frac to increase gas flow.
All 12 previous fracs used water and as a result, decreased gas flow due to reservoir damage.