Pathfinder flow rates exceed expectations for Fremont Petroleum

Fremont Petroleum ASX FPL Pathfinder Columbus gas well flows
Fremont Petroleum's Columbus gas well flows at 1.03 million cubic feet per day.

Fremont Petroleum (ASX: FPL) will scale up production from the Pathfinder gas field after reporting a higher than anticipated flow rate of 1.5 million cubic feet a day from the Marco Polo #1 well.

It is the second well this month to have recorded impressive flow rates at the company’s 100%-owned, 16,798 acre field in Colorado, situated adjacent to the Florence oilfield – the second-largest oilfield in the United States and one of the most economic in the country.

Earlier this week, Fremont’s Columbus gas well, located 500 metres from Marco Polo, achieved an initial flow rate of 1.03mmscfd earlier this week, which was also significantly higher than expected.

Columbus was previously drilled in 2016 and intersected natural gas when drilling through the highly-fractured and problematic Pierre formation. The well has been shut in since that time to avoid uneconomic flaring.

Both Columbus and Marco Polo were opened up for three hours to bleed off strong pressures before flow tests were conducted.

Low-cost, high-impact drilling program

Fremont is the first company to successfully drill through the difficult Pierre formation and drill a horizontal well into the Niobrara formation.

The company has embarked on a low-cost, high-impact drilling program targeting oil production from Pierre which remains in virgin territory within the Pathfinder field.

Pathfinder C11-12, Columbus and Marco Polo have all been tested, with the aim of building a large cumulative flow rate to enhance gas sales negotiations.

In June, the company reported an initial flow rate at Pathfinder C11-12 of 1.6mmscfd. Pathfinder and Columbus are 3 kilometres apart and previous tests confirmed the hydrocarbon system in the field extends over a large area covering the Niobrara and Pierre formations.

Cumulative initial 24-hour flow rate of Pathfinder C11-12, Columbus and Marco Polo has been reported at 4.13mmscfd, leading Freemont to believe that the Pathfinder field contains a much greater resource the independently-verified 220 billion cubic feet of gas.

“It is clear that [this] field hosts a very large gas resource, much larger than we thought and the flow rates from the three wells confirms a significant and contiguous gas deposit is in place and present at Pierre and Niobrara,” the company said.

“Gas sales negotiations are at an advanced stage and higher than anticipated flow rates from all three wells is helping [us] assess a number of options to significantly scale up gas production from the Pathfinder field.”

At midday, Fremont shares had increased 12.50% to $0.009.