Comet Ridge (ASX: IOC) has explored the fifth well of its most recent evaluation drilling campaign at the Mahalo coal gas project in Queensland.
The company began drilling the Sirius Road-2 well on Friday and today reported that it was being drilled directional to a depth of 512 m, intended for the Castor coal gasket.
This well follows the Sirius Road-1 vertical well, which was drilled earlier this month and crossed a 6.9m total charcoal packet including 3.3m in the Castor gasket.
Sirius Road-2 was originally planned as a double well-side intercept, which means it was planned to split in two to intercept both the Castor seam and the Pollux seam below. Earlier this month, Comet Ridge successfully drilled its first 8-km lateral well northwest of Sirius Road in Straun-3.
However, the Pollux junction in the Sirius Road-1 well was smaller than expected, only 0.9m thick. It was also thinner than the three adjacent compensating wells, and Comet Ridge said that, therefore, "it was not considered representative of this part of the field."
As a result, Sirius Road-2 is being drilled as a single side well and the Pollux seam test will be postponed to a future lateral well "where a more representative intersection is found."
Comet Ridge executive director Tor McCaul said Sirius Road 1 and 2 wells provided the first opportunity to test production of the deeper parts of the southwestern part of the Mahalo gas project.
"Obviously we would like to have both of the two major coals open in this test, but having Castor's key junction data will be invaluable in evaluating the design and location of future follow-up work and will help [joint venture] understand the size of development, "he said.
Mahalo rating drill
With an estimated 172 petajoules of 2P gas reserves, the Mahalo gas project in the Bowen Basin of Queensland is considered one of the largest undisclosed gas resources on the east coast of Australia.
Comet Ridge is the operating operator and holds a 40% majority interest in the joint venture project. It is a partner to some of Australia's largest gas operators, Santos (ASX: STO) and Australia Pacific LNG, which is 37.5% of Origin Energy (ASX: ORG).
This current round of drilling evaluation began in October with the vertical well spudding Memoloo-2, followed by Straun-2 in November.
All three vertical wells in the program – Memoloo-2, Straun-2 and Sirius Road-1 – are planned to be completed with tubes and pumps and placed in line for production tests to obtain long-term flow data.
Last week Comet Ridge announced that the Memoloo-2 production tests were running three weeks ago and "the first signs are encouraging."