Norwest Energy (ASX: NWE) has received encouraging results from routine diagnostic and testing carried out on its key Perth Basin unconventional gas well and remains on track to start fracture stimulation operations by the end of this month.
In particular, the diagnostic fracture injection test (DFIT) to assist in the determination of various reservoir and frac properties confirmed that conditions in the High Cliff Sandstone at the Arrowsmith-2 well are favourable for fraccing.
Another test, the cement bond log (NYSE:CBL) to confirm wellbore integrity, indicated that the cement bond integrity is consistent throughout, providing evidence of an effective barrier between the steel casing and the surrounding formations.
The DFIT involved perforating the lowermost zone - the High Cliff Sandstone - then slowly pumping a small volume of fluid into the well, thereby gradually increasing the pressure until a small fracture was initiated in the perforated interval while the CBL involved running a logging tool to test cement integrity behind the casing.
The DFIT also provided other important reservoir and frac properties.
Norwest said that with these results in hand, it was now fully prepared to carry out the fraccing program to assess the potential of the four horizons intersected by the well.
Meanwhile, mobilisation of the initial loads of the Halliburton frac spread, which comprises a large number of vehicles, trailers, pumps, blenders and ancillary equipment, has started from South Australia.
While part of the fleet has been delayed due to road conditions resulting from inclement weather and is expected to mobilise during the course of this week, the first stage of the frac program is still expected to start before the end of July.
Arrowsmith-2 fracture stimulation program
The fraccing campaign will be carried out in conjunction with AWE's to maximise cost saving benefits by sharing the cost and use of relevant equipment and services.
Norwest will first frac the High Cliff Sandstone formation and allow the frac spread to be deployed to one of AWE's two wells in the program while clean-up and flow back is carried out on this zone.
The process will then be repeated through the Kockatea Shale, the Carynginia Formation and the Irwin River Coal Measures to maximise use of the equipment and reduce standby charges.
This program is expected to take up to 8 weeks, with early results expected in the first few weeks along with more solid data being available at the end of the program.
Once the well has been stimulated, the results from the well testing program will enable Norwest to establish the viability of the various target zones for future shale gas production.
Early commercialisation is on the cards should the well be capable of producing economically from the High Cliff Sandstone.
Arrowsmith-2 is just 12 kilometres from a pipeline, allowing Norwest to establish production by establishing some basic facilities capable of carrying out de-watering and gas compression.
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