The Cooper Basin is Australia’s largest onshore petroleum province. Soon after its initial discovery in the 1960’s, continuous oil and gas production has occurred. With the assistance of Nautec Energy Solutions (Nautec), Drillsearch has become one of the largest acreage holders across the basin. Initial focus by Drillsearch was on the conventional petroleum prospects in the region. Nautec conducted a scoping study to identify the unconventional prospectively in the region. As a result of this study, Drillsearch quickly redirected resources to enable the Unconventional Contingent Resource Strategy Study to commence.

The Scope

Drillsearch engaged Nautec to identify unconventional gas leads, prospects and target seams. Nautec was also engaged to develop a drilling and testing program to enable contingent resource calculations under SPE PRMS guidelines for the determination of contingent resources.

Consideration was given to the longer term goal of converting contingent resources into probable reserves in coming years.

Nautec identified prospects where unconventional targets may have enhanced characteristics for the best chance of success. In addition, we identified areas where Drillsearch could exploit its existing wet gas drilling program to collect coal property information across a large area of apparently continuous coal for relatively minimal cost.

Both the wet gas and unconventional targeted programs will use a specifically designed testing program to allow a significant area to be assessed for contingent CSG resources.

A long term (2 year) plan was developed to allow the contingent resources to be effectively converted to probable reserves. An appraisal program was scoped to determine just what this project might look like in terms of well numbers, well type, spacing, target seams, area/gas volume, reserve status, cost etc.

Added Value

During the course of their relationship, Nautec has assisted Drillsearch to acquire and retain more than 21, 000km2 of exploration acreage, and identified more than 40 prospects with significant prospective gas in place. Drillsearch reviewed prospects identified by the Unconventional Contingent Resource Strategy Study to determine how to proceed with their planned exploration program. Drillsearch then actively searched for additional farm-in opportunities close to their existing permits in an effort to increase their unconventional gas holdings.

The search for farm-in partners created additional work, with Drillsearch engaging Nautec to perform an Independent Expert Report (IER). The excellent work carried out by Nautec resulted in increased favourability for Drillsearch to potential farm-in partners.