Unconventional gas explorer Strike Energy (ASX: STX) is about to commence a multi-stage fracking program on the Jaws-1 appraisal well at its Southern Cooper Basin coal seam gas project in South Australia.
The company today announced it had completed the installation of the liner and fracture stimulation sleeves at a total depth of 2873m. The packers have been set in the wellbore and positioned to allow for the full seven stages of the program to be achieved.
“Completion of this activity significantly de-risks the project and operations will now progress to hydraulic stimulation before final completion and installation of artificial lift pumps,” Strike stated.
Jaws-1 is being drilled by contractors Halliburton and Ensign on the 965 rig.
It is the second of a two-well appraisal campaign designed to prove commercial flow rates of gas and assess the quality of the Southern Cooper Basin gas project, which is 66.67%-owned and operated by Strike. The remaining 33.33% stake in the project is held by Energy World Corporation.
Hydraulic fracture stimulation, or “fracking”, is the process where a high-pressure water mixture is injected into the wellbore to fracture the surrounding rock apart, allowing gas to be released.
The fracking program at Jaws-1 will utilise the indirect vertical fracture completion (IVFC) technique, targeting the Vu Upper coal from below the seam.
Strike said this cutting-edge technique was quickly becoming the preferred method in the US shale gas industry as it utilises gravity-assisted drainage of the reservoir and could offer better fracture initiation due to the mechanical properties of the formation.
According to the company, this alternate design would enable completion of the drilling operations without compromising the original well objectives.
In earlier reports, Strike said it anticipated first gas flows from Jaws-1 in the September quarter.
The company has gas sales deals covering about 122 petajoules of gas from the project.
Once commercial delivery has been achieved, Strike plans to pipe about 50 terajoules per day of gas to the Santos-operated Moomba gas processing plant before it is piped into the east coast market.