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Falcon Oil & Gas higher as it identifies four additional potential plays at Beetaloo

Falcon’s partner at Beetaloo, Origin Energy, said the four new plays have the potential to “redefine Australia’s energy market”
oil workers drilling
With the fracking ban lifted, it is expected the two will start drilling again early next year

Falcon Oil & Gas Ltd’s (LON:FOG) partner at the Beetaloo basin shale gas project in Australia’s Northern Territory has identified four additional potential plays.

At an oil and gas conference in Adelaide, Origin Energy said initial indications are that each of them is a “material multi-TCF” (trillion cubic feet) play, although it added that the Velkerri shale dry gas play – the one the two have been focused on – is still the most mature resource.

READ: Falcon ready to reward patient investors

More drilling at the four new plays is required to get a better understanding of their viability, but Origin believes each of them has the “potential to redefine Australia's energy market”.

Falcon chief executive Philip O’Quigley said: “The Beetaloo sub-basin provides us with an exciting diversified portfolio, having exposure to all five identified plays.

“When activity resumes, the JV will look to demonstrate improved well deliverability through longer laterals in the Velkerri shale while simultaneously seeking to prove up high value plays with increased liquids potential with lower well cost and improved economics.”

O’Quigley added that a forward exploration and appraisal drilling programme will be announced in due course.

News of the four new potential plays caps a good month for Falcon and its investors.

Fracking relief

In mid-April, the company was boosted when authorities lifted a moratorium on fracking in the area where the Beetaloo basin is.

The fracking hiatus came into effect in 2016 and it effectively cut off what had been a very encouraging programme of wells and flow testing.

With that behind them, Falcon and origin expect to get back to work as soon as practical, meaning new drilling is likely to start in 2019.

In mid-morning trading, Falcon O&G shares were 1.4% higher at 22p.

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