Australian junior Strike Energy is looking to capitalise on its recent success in Western Australia’s onshore Perth basin as it prepares to spud a new exploration well to the south of its West Erregulla discovery.

Strike confirmed on Monday that the Ensign 970 drilling rig had been mobilised to the company’s wholly-owned EP503 permit and was preparing to spud the South Erregulla-1 exploration well.

Are you missing out on ACCELERATE?
Gain valuable insight into the global oil and gas industry energy transition from ACCELERATE, the free weekly newsletter from Upstream and Recharge.

It noted the start of drilling had been slightly delayed due to certain personnel being put into quarantine before Western Australia’s Covid-19 related border closures towards the end of last year.

Strike said the staff were expected to be cleared to start full duties and spud the exploration well towards the end of the week.

The South Erregulla-1 well is targeting 1.6 trillion cubic feet in best estimate conventional gas prospective resources.

EP503 lies adjacent to the Strike-operated EP469 permit, which houses the company’s West Erregulla gas discovery, with the South Erregulla-1 location less than five kilometres south of the nearest successful West Erregulla intersection.

Netherland, Sewell & Associates has certified 300 petajoules (283 billion cubic feet) of proven plus probable gross gas reserves at the West Erregulla field in one sandstone alone — the Kingia — giving Strike the confidence to proceed with a phase one development.

Under phase one, Strike intends to bring 80 terajoules per day of West Erregulla gas to market this year, via a gas plant to be built, owned and operated by Australian Gas Infrastructure Group.

Project Haber

Success at South Erregulla would also provide confidence for Strike to further progress its proposed 1.4 million tonnes per annum Project Haber urea fertiliser manufacturing facility.

Strike confirmed on Monday that success at South Erregulla-1 would see the company look to sanction additional front-end engineering and design work, finalise the urea offtake process, and progress the equity/debt processes for Project Haber.

Strike believes Project Haber could help reduce Australia’s reliance on more than A$1 billion (US$717 million) of fertiliser imports each year.

The project is currently in the pre-FEED stage, with design work being carried out by French engineering company Technip Energies.

Strike is currently working towards completing engineering studies this year, with an aim of starting construction in early 2023.