The Artisan 1 well will be cased and suspended as a future producer with scope to connect into an offshore pipeline

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Beach Energy plans to tie the Artisan 1 gas discovery into an offshore pipeline associated with the Thylacine and Geographe fields. (Credit: QR9iudjz0 from FreeImages)

Beach Energy has made a gas discovery in the licence VIC/P43, offshore Otway Basin in Victoria, Australia following the drilling of the Artisan 1 exploration well.

Drilled to a total depth of 2,205m measured depth (MD), the exploration well penetrated the primary Upper Waarre Formation at 1,921m measured depth, nearly 92m high to prognosis, said the company.

The Artisan 1 well encountered a gross gas column of 69.5m in the Upper Waarre Formation. This included net gas pay of 62.9m, with a gas-water contact intersected at a measured depth of 1,990m.

Beach Energy said that the well had also encountered gross gas column of 20.9m in the secondary target of the Flaxman Formation from a measured depth of 1902.8m, with net gas pay of 4.6m.

The well, which was spudded by the Diamond Offshore Ocean Onyx rig in late February, is located nearly 30km off the coast of Victoria. It marks the start of Beach Energy’s offshore drilling programme.

Beach Energy will case and suspend the Artisan 1 well as a future producer with scope to tie into an offshore pipeline. Presently, the pipeline will supply gas produced from the offshore Thylacine and Geographe fields to the Otway Gas Plant.

Beach Energy managing director and CEO Matt Kay said: “Beginning our Otway campaign with two exploration successes is a good result for Beach.

“While the Artisan discovery is at the lower end of pre-drill expectations, it is being cased as a future producer. Drilling operations have gone to plan and I want to commend the teams working on the Ocean Onyx for the successful start to the campaign.”

The company is the operator of the licence VIC/P43 with a 60% stake and is partnered by O.G. Energy, which holds the remaining interest of 40%.

The Diamond Offshore Ocean Onyx rig will sail to the Geographe field after the casing operations. It will start the first of two in-field development wells prior to moving to the Thylacine field for drilling an additional four in-field wells.

Beach Energy expects to draw first gas from the new Geographe wells in FY22.

Last month, the company declared the net 2P undeveloped reserves of the Enterprise gas field in the offshore Otway Basin at 34 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMboe). The Enterprise gas discovery was made by Beach Energy in November 2020.