Saturday 25 January 2020

Drilling resumes at Falcon's Australian prospect after long inquiry delay


Falcon Oil & Gas CEO Philip O’Quigley
Falcon Oil & Gas CEO Philip O’Quigley

Fearghal O'Connor

Drilling has resumed at the huge Australian gas fracking prospect of Dublin-based Falcon Oil & Gas after a long delay that had threatened to kill the project.

The Northern Territories government had imposed a moratorium on all fracking but lifted the temporary ban following the results of a scientific inquiry ordered by the government.

That cleared the way for work on the huge Beetaloo basin prospect to recommence.

Falcon, headed up by exploration veteran Philip O'Quigley, has a 30pc share of the prospect, with the remaining 70pc owned by major Australian energy group Origin.

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Drilling of two horizontal wells is now under way on a target that is spread across a vast 18,500 square kilometre tract of Northern Territories bush.

"Ongoing evaluation of the Kyalla 117 N2-1 vertical appraisal well is very encouraging," said O'Quigley. "The drilling of a 1,000 to 2,000 metre horizontal well in the Lower Kyalla shale has started and we will continue to update the market as soon as more results become available."

Origin Energy CEO Frank Calabria said that a well that had been drilled prior to the moratorium had indicated the presence of six trillion cubic feet of gas in one small area.

He said that the company was "excited" to be back in the Beetaloo following the moratorium as it had the potential to bring cheaper gas into the domestic Australian market.

"It is exciting and we are looking forward to it," Calabria said.

"The prospects are significant," he said, adding that first results would be known by the final quarter of 2020 but that it was early days with potential for "a wide range of outcomes".

Sunday Indo Business

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