Australia's AWE has spudded the Senecio-3 appraisal well on permit L1/L2 in the onshore Perth basin, Western Australia.
The appraisal well is being drilled to test the unconventional gas potential in the western side of the Senecio reservoir and is targeting the Dongara and Wagina tight sandstone formation.
The well is expected to take about five weeks to drill to a total depth of 2783 metres and complete, with core samples to be collected and sent for analysis.
If the results from the well are positive AWE plans to start the approvals process for the first phase of the Senecio unconventional gas field development.
The company said it did not currently plan to carry out hydraulic fracture simulation on the Senecio-3 well, but said the well could potentially be re-completed as a production well in a future field development.
The Senecio-3 appraisal well lies about 14.5 kilometres east of Dongara, Western Australia, and 7 kilometres from the operating Dongara gas plant.
AWE operates the L1/L2 permit in a 50:50 partnership with fellow Australian company Origin Energy.