As part of the restart, the partners plan to undertake a three-well appraisal pilot programme in the first half of 2021

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The Range gas project could have up to 143 producing wells over the life of the field. (Credit: Anita starzycka from Pixabay)

Central Petroleum and its partner Incitec Pivot have restarted the development of the Range gas project in the Surat Basin in Queensland, Australia.

The coal seam gas project was paused in March 2020 following the Covid-19 outbreak and the prevailing challenging market conditions.

It is being taken up as a 50:50 joint venture (JV) between Central Petroleum and Incitec Pivot Queensland Gas, a fully-owned subsidiary of Incitec Pivot.

The JV will now restart activities needed to reach a final investment decision (FID) on the project. As part of these, the partners plant to carry out a three-well appraisal pilot programme in the first half of 2021.

Subject to the successful completion of pre-FID activities, the partners aim to take an FID at the end of next year.

Central Petroleum expects development of the Range gas field to begin immediately after FID with a target of achieving first gas in 2023.

The Range gas project aims to deliver additional supply into the east coast gas markets of Australia.

The project involves the development and production of 270 peta joules (PJ) of 2C contingent gas resources in an area of 77km², which is in proximity to major coal seam gas developments and pipeline infrastructure.

Range gas project likely to have 143 producing wells

According to Central Petroleum, the Range gas project is likely to have up to 143 producing wells over the life of the field. The gas drawn from the site will be delivered to market through a new pipeline that will link to either the RomaBrisbane gas pipeline or a tie-in to other pipeline infrastructure in the vicinity.

In late October, Central Petroleum signed an agreement to sell 3.5PJ of gas to Macquarie Bank or its nominee for the calendar years 2022 and 2023.

The company had also secured a 12-month extension to its existing AUD69.8m ($49.44m) finance facility with Macquarie Bank.

Central Petroleum CEO and MD Leon Devaney said: “The new gas sale agreement and restructured finance facility announced last week, combined with continued resilience in term gas markets, give us the flexibility and confidence to restart Range.

“This is a major area of growth for Central which we believe will be a very competitive new source of gas for the east coast market when the project comes onstream in 2023.”