Statoil drills third Oz shale well

Shale sights: Statoil aims for oil pay in Southern Georgina basin

Norway’s Statoil has spudded the third exploration probe in its five-well shale programme in Australia’s Southern Georgina Basin.

The Stavanger-headquartered state company is drilling the OzGamma-1 probe in the Northern Territory's exploration permit 103, junior partner PetroFrontier of Canada said.

The Calgary-based explorer also said that the OzBeta 1 probe spud earlier this month had been drilled and cased, with 99 metres of core removed for analysis.

The OzBeta-1 aimed to test three potential pay zones in the Thorntonian limestone formation, where PetroFrontier found oil in late 2012 with the Owen 3H probe that failed to flow on test.

Under a $50 million farm-in by the Norwegian state player agreed in 2012, Statoil will drill, core and evaluate up to five verticals as well as hydraulically fracture and production test up to three wells.

The first drilling results are expected in the third quarter.

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