Exploration and Appraisal
The first step in producing gas is actually finding gas in the earth. Then, a decision needs to be made about whether it makes economic sense to pursue it.
Geologists examine the local area and make an initial assessment about the likelihood of gas being underground.
They follow up with more in depth examinations, for example with a seismic survey that looks at the rocks underground. They figure out if the rocks are likely to contain gas and if so, how much.
If the signs all look good, the gas company will drill an exploration well. This well is used to find out if gas really is present, and if so, how far down.
If the exploration well results are promising, the gas company will drill an appraisal well. If not, the company will proceed immediately to decommissioning and rehabilitation.
An appraisal well is used to test the flow rate. It’s one thing to find gas underground, it’s another to extract it. If the gas flows too slowly the well would not be economically viable, because the cost of machinery, equipment and staff is high.
If the appraisal well results are promising, the gas company proceeds to developing the gas field.
If not, the gas company proceeds immediately to decommissioning and rehabilitation.
DMIRS keeps a database of all wells drilled.
Senecio-03 appraisal well
The Senecio-03 appraisal well is located on agricultural land in the Shire of Irwin. The well was originally designed to evaluate the potential for commercial gas production from the Dongara/Wagina formation. The core samples and data from Senecio-03 were used to further assess the viability of gas resources in the Mid West.