The Beetaloo W-1 was spudded on July 22 in a location 85 kilometres south of the previously drilled Kalala S-1, where it will test an unexplored area of the southern Beetaloo basin for shale and hybrid shale-sand plays in the Velkerri and Kyalla formations.
It is the fourth of five wells planned in the 2015/16 programme, in which Falcon’s share of costs are being carried by joint venture partners Origin Energy and Sasol.
Falcon also highlighted that preparations are underway for the upcoming fracking and production testing of the Amungee NW-1H well.
In November, the well cut a 1,100 metre horizontal section into the “B Shale” interval of the Middle Velkerri formation. That horizontal has since been cased and cemented, and the preparations for fracking are being finalised.
Fracking is expected to begin by mid-August, and is estimated to take up to 2 weeks. An extended production well test is planned after that.
Philip O'Quigley, Falcon chief executive, said: "The multi-stage hydraulic stimulation of the horizontal section of the Amungee NW-1H well, scheduled to be completed next month, could go a long way towards proving up the resource potential of the Beetaloo Basin.
“The Beetaloo W-1 well represents another exciting phase of the exploration program given that it will be the first well to penetrate the Middle Velkerri member in the south of the basin.
“We look forward to updating the market on both of these key operations as information becomes available."
The Beetaloo W-1 well is designed to test the presence, depth, thickness and physical reservoir properties of the Kyalla and the Middle Velkerri formations.
It is being drilled down to a target depth of 3,045 metres, and that is scheduled to take between 35 and 50 days.
Falcon retains a 35% stake in the Australian shale venture with partners Origin and Sasol each owning 35%.
The farm-out deals in 2014 that brought in the two partners sees them pay all Falcon’s share of costs for the initial programme of five wells, estimated at around A$64mln.
Later, planned for 2017, they will also cover costs associated with two horizontally fracture stimulated wells, 90 day production tests and micro seismic data collection – Falcon’s carry is capped to A$53mln for this phase.
And in 2018 a further two well horizontal drilling programme, including fracking and 90 day tests, will see Falcon carried for up to A$48mln.