Metgasco said that it has selected Atlas Drilling Services, a Titan Energy Services Company as its drilling contractor for the Rosella E01 well.
Atlas was chosen from five drilling companies that participated in a tender process, on the basis of criteria that included cost, safety, rig capability and reliability.
Atlas will supply its Rig 3 drilling rig in mid-April, subject to the conclusion of the rig’s current contract with a petroleum company in Queensland.
The Rosella E01 well will test the conventional and tight gas potential of the Greater Mackellar structure and follows the discovery of gas in conventional sands in the Kingfisher E01 well in 2009. Rosella E01 is not a coal seam gas well.
The primary objective for this well is the Ripley Road sandstone that was tested in Kingfisher E01, south of Casino. The well will also test the thick sequence of gas bearing strata in the Gatton sandstone that had low permeability, together with the deeper Basal Bundamba Sandstone (a lateral equivalent to the Laytons Range Conglomerate), Ipswich and Nymboida Coal Measures that were below the depth reached in Kingfisher-1.
If significant gas is found, the well will be tested to determine if an economic gas rate can be established from zones of interest and then, subject to results, suspended for further testing and evaluation. In the event that the well fails to find suitable reservoir zones, it will be plugged and abandoned and the site rehabilitated and restored to pre-drill condition.
The well is to be drilled on the site of an old, unused quarry. An access agreement with the landowner is in place. A community consultation program has been initiated.
Metgasco’s Managing Director, Mr Peter Henderson, said: “The Rosella E01 well is important for Metgasco and the State of New South Wales. Nearly all of the gas currently used in New South Wales, about 95 per cent, is imported from interstate. Beyond 2016 these gas supplies are not secure. Gas prices in New South Wales are expected to increase significantly in the next few years and there are substantial community concerns over the inability to contract gas supplies. A successful result for Rosella E01 will help secure energy supplies for New South Wales, manage prices and provide employment opportunities in the Northern Rivers region.”