Sigma Cubed Inc. (SIGMA3) was selected by Paltar Petroleum Limited to deliver multi-year, onsite project management, engineering and operations services covering 8.9 million acres of oil and gas prospects in the Northern Territory and Western Australia. SIGMA3 GeoEngineering™ specialists will complement the industry-recognized expertise of Paltar Chairman & CEO, Marc Bruner, and Chief Geologist, Dr. Ben Law, to determine optimal placement of horizontal wellbores to intersect the organic-rich Kyalla, Velkerri, and Barney Creek Shales in the Beetaloo Basin, including onsite drilling and completion engineering, core analysis and final evaluation for future wells. SIGMA3 is also managing the acquisition of seismic data to determine the production potential of Paltar’s holdings in the Victoria River and coastal regions of the Northern Territory and the Officer Basin in Western Australia.
“The complex geology of these shale basins has left the oil and gas resources locked in place, but now we have the experience and expertise to bring these resources to the surface with increased accuracy and maximum efficiency,” said Marc Bruner, Paltar Chairman & CEO. “The majority of operators working in Australia’s emerging unconventional space haven’t moved forward after drilling these resources. We intend to drill, case and test multiple zones utilizing the most successful horizontal technology available. SIGMA3, with prior experience in the Beetaloo Basin and global expertise in hydraulic fracture engineering and project management services, has field tested their GeoEngineering technology with impressive results. As a valued member of our exploration team, SIGMA3 is in a unique position to help us optimize our field development strategies and achieve success.”
With a total of seven exploration permits and more than 30 permits in the application process, Paltar is poised to explore for unconventional and conventional resources throughout the Northern Territory and Western Australia. The virtually untapped Beetaloo Basin, with more than 3,000 meters of proven hydrocarbon-bearing reservoirs, is the company’s first priority. Considered to contain world-class oil and gas deposits, the Beetaloo Basin has been the objective of significant E&P investment in recent years, but remains largely unexplored due to the lack of technology required to develop these kinds of unconventional resources. Based on a 2010 Ryder Scott report, recoverable deposits of oil and gas in the 7-million acre Beetaloo Basin are estimated at 17.54 billion barrels and 63.9 TCF, respectively.
“Within the Proterozoic Roper Group, two oil-bearing shale layers — the Kyalla and the Velkerri — have been identified; each 800 meters thick and at depths less than 2,000 meters. Rapid commercialization requires field-tested, results-driven strategies, and SIGMA3 has an excellent track-record in enhancing efficiency and profitability in the Bakken and Niobrara, which are analogous to the Kyalla and Velkerri in many ways,” said Bruner. “We look forward to the drilling and exploration of these prospects in 2015. With SIGMA3 engineers onsite to provide the right technology and horizontal drilling and fracturing expertise, we expect to optimize production and maximize the return on investment when lateral drilling commences.”
“Marc Bruner and Chief Geologist, Dr. Ben Law, are true pioneers in the discovery of major shale resources in the US and around the world, and we are excited for the opportunity to help Paltar apply the most advanced, field-tested technology and science to shale reservoirs in Australia,” said John Harkrider, SIGMA3 Chief Engineer. “Participating in a project of this magnitude is a privilege, and we are eager to be part of the Paltar team as they accelerate exploration and production in the region.”
In addition to providing expertise in delineating and testing multiple pay horizons in the Beetaloo Basin, including onsite engineering and operational support, SIGMA3 engineers will manage the field study and drilling and completions operations for an upcoming horizontal well drilling program, scheduled to commence in late 2016. Leveraging all lessons learned from the Beetaloo Basin, core evaluation and well testing will commence in the Victoria River, Ord and Officer Basins upon completion of seismic data analyses, covering some 7.3 million acres.