Energy companies continue to be excited over the initial results from the testing of gas exploration wells in the Beetaloo.
In a report to investors today, Santos said production testing at the Tanumbirini-1 vertical well east of Daly Waters resumed last month and results "significantly exceeded expectations".
The production test recorded an initial peak gas flow rate of 10 mmscf/d (million cubic feet per day) and an average rate of 1.5 mmscf/d during the first nine days of testing.
"The results at Tanumbirini-1 provide critical data to inform the next phase of appraisal, which is expected to include two horizontal wells with multi-stage stimulation commencing in 2021," the company said.
"The recent test results provide further confidence there is potential to achieve economic flow rates from multi-stage horizontal wells."
Origin Energy is expected to soon release details of its production tests after it resumed activity at its Kyalla well site near Daly Waters in the Beetaloo after a six month stand down.
The Kyalla well, drilled almost two kilometres deep late last year, has been fracked for the production testing.
Initial results from this are expected by the end of the year, with full results in the first quarter of 2021.
Origin has reported they found a 900 metre gas-rich layer of shale during the vertical drilling.
Junior explorer Empire Energy told the stock exchange earlier in the month it had discovered what is believes it is a big reservoir of liquids rich gas at its Carpentaria-1 well site about 85km south-west of Borroloola.
The gas was found shallower than expected and across a layer of shale almost a kilometre thick.
The explorers like Empire, Origin and Santos are looking for gas in two shale layers, the more prospective Kyalla and the Velkerri which Empire has intersected.
Empire said it would now prepare the well for fracking tests and a flow testing program early next year.
Australia's Energy Minister Angus Taylor visited the Beetaloo to inspect the Empire Energy well last week to build on the Federal Government's gas-fired recovery plan.
The government has made the Beetaloo a priority for development.
Meanwhile, Santos says it has successfully injected approximately 100 tonnes of carbon dioxide deep underground into depleted gas reservoirs as part of the final field trial for the Moomba Carbon Capture and Storage Project in South Australia.
Santos managing director and chief executive officer Kevin Gallagher said the successful injection occurred earlier this month in the Strzelecki field in the Cooper Basin and Santos would now finalise technical and commercial arrangements with the aim of having the 1.7 million tonne per annum project ready for Final Investment Decision by the end of the year.
Ultimately, the Moomba CCS Project has the potential to store up to 20 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per annum, the company says.
"We will need an approved methodology for CCS to be in place with the Clean Energy Regulator before we take a final investment decision on our Moomba CCS Project because carbon credits are essential to make it stack up economically with the cost of abatement still at around A$30 per tonne," Mr Gallagher said.
"Our aim is to drive these costs lower with scale and experience, but the first step is to generate carbon credits to enable initial development.
"Last year, Moomba celebrated its 50th birthday as a provider of reliable, affordable energy to the eastern seaboard. We are growing production in the Cooper Basin again, and that, combined with the Moomba CCS Project, has the potential to make Moomba a vital supplier of clean energy for Australia for another 50 years, supporting thousands of skilled, secure, well-paying jobs and decarbonising energy at its source.
"The initial project would support around 230 new South Australian jobs through construction.
"Our Moomba CCS Project is one of the most globally competitive projects - it will be the second largest in the world and one of the lowest cost project at our current estimate of around A$30 per tonne."
Mr Gallagher said this successful test along with recent Federal government announcements paves the way for large-scale CCS to drive down Australia's carbon emissions. Experts, including the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have identified CCS as a critical technology to achieve the world's climate goals.
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