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Taylor heads to the Beetaloo

19 Oct 2020 1:05 PM | Sonia Harvey (Administrator)

EMPIRE Energy hosted energy and emissions reduction minister Angus Taylor at its Carpentaria-1 well Friday, as well as Senator Sam McMahon and the Northern Territory leader of the opposition Lia Finocchiaro and the Darwin representative of Australia‚Äôs peak oil and gas lobby body. 

The well is in Empire's EP187 in the Northern Territory's Beetaloo Sub-basin, which is first cab off the rank for the government's $28.3 million Strategic Basin Plans, to develop five of Australia's gas basins, announced as part of the federal budget.  

A second trip tomorrow will involve members of the sitting Territory government which was returned to power last month.  

"We've met with him (Taylor) before earlier this year but this is the first well (drilled) in the basin since the gas-fired recovery was announced and on the back of that we invited him to join us on site," managing director Alex Underwood told Energy News. 

It's an unusual trip in some ways given the Empire is nowhere near the size of other Beetaloo players Origin Energy, which shares the Kyalla-189 well with Irish Falcon Oil & Gas, or Santos  but perfect timing given the well results of last week.  

Last Monday Empire announced the well, being drilled with Schlumberger Land Rig 183, had intersected an "extensive" interval of liquids rich gas in the Velkerri Shale based on mud gas liquids readings and the proportion of liquids "dramatically" exceeds analogue wells previously drilled in the area and also exceeds its own pre-drill estimates.  

The well will be cased and then after data is analysed a forward drilling program for next year's dry season will be developed.  

"It's very encouraging for the company that we now have strong support at the Territory and federal level for development of this basin, the government here has shown leadership with respect to development and Darwin is already a major LNG hub," Underwood said.  

"The government here recognises that that gas development will bring broader economic benefits and that gas will be part of the energy mix as renewables have a larger share of power generation to stablise the grid. 

"I just think it was important for a senior member of the federal government to see the results of this basin."  

"The Beetaloo Basin is a world-class resource that has the potential to drive significant development in the Top End to create local jobs and help Australia remain a world leader in gas," a statement from Taylor's office  said. 

"The government's Strategic Basin Plans will accelerate this development, driving investment and job creation in our regional and Indigenous communities as we recover from COVID-19." 

The same day anti-fraccing group Lock the Gate posted protest photos on its Twitter account but Underwood said there had been no protests at the site and was caught off guard when first asked about protests by Energy News Friday. 

Source: Energy News Bulletin

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