Empire is the holder of the largest net onshore acreage in the highly prospective Perth Basin with its production licenses and permits covering more than 8,000km2, representing 48% of the currently granted acreage in the onshore Perth Basin. Close to pipeline infrastructure and with rapid commercialisation opportunities, the Company has significant exploration potential in an underexplored, proven petroleum basin.
Empire currently holds nine exploration permits and two production licences, all in the Perth Basin. Seven of the exploration permits and both of the production licenses are located in the proven Northern Perth Basin:
|Permit||Empire||Norwest||Pilot Energy||Area (km2)|
|EP 368||80% (Operator)||20.00%||600|
|EP 389||100% (Operator)||1,390|
|EP 426||77.78% (Operator)||22.22%||1,162|
|EP 430||100% (Operator)||149|
|EP 432||100% (Operator)||1,185|
|EP 440||100% (Operator)||1,127|
|EP 454||100% (Operator)||966|
|L 18||100% (Operator)||74|
|EP 416||40%||60% (Operator)||621|
|EP 480||40%||60% (Operator)||1,348|
Attention is currently focussed on permits EP 389, EP 368 and EP 432 where hydrocarbons have already been discovered and Empire considers there is the highest chance of commercial success. These permits contain three material prospects - Red Gully North in EP 389, Lockyer Deep in EP 368 and Raven in EP 432. These prospects are in addition to the inventory of prospects identified by the Wannamal 3D seismic survey conducted by Empire in 2013 and include, Gingin East, Wannamal and Bootine Deep.
Red Gully North-1, EP 389
Situated only 4 kms from the Red Gully Processing Facility, Red Gully North-1 prospect is considered to be a low risk exploration well. It is defined by 3D seismic conducted by Empire and drilling in late 2015 is to target the Jurassic age sands in the Cattamarra Coal Measures which are gas and condensate productive in the adjacent Red Gully and Gin West Fields. Red Gully North-1 will be drilled up dip of Gingin-1, a vintage gas discovery that produced briefly in the 1970’s. Empire believes gas remains up dip of the old well.
Lockyer Deep-1, EP 368
This large prospect is located on a trend which was proved oil bearing by the vintage North Erregulla-1 and Lockyer-1 wells at the Dongara Sandstone level. The deeper stratigraphic levels were not drilled down to and remain untested. Adjacent to the west of EP 368, a major gas find was announced at the Waitsia Field by operator AWE Limited (AWE), in the Permnian age Kingia/Highcliff sandstone. AWE also reported the presence of conventional reservoir, quality sandstone as far east as the Irwin-1, very close to the western boundary of EP 368. AWE has reported publically that the Waistia discovery not only opens a new play in the Perth Basin but represents the most significant gas discovery in the Basin since the large Dongara gas field was discovered in the 1960’s.
The new Kingia/Highcliff play has not yet been tested further east and into EP 368 or EP 426 operated by Empire. Lockyer Deep-1 will be drilled to test the deeper Kingia/Highcliff sandstone not drilled to by Lockyer-1, to determine if the play is present in Empire’s acreage. The oil potential of the previously discovered Dongara sandstone oil pool will also be investigated by acquiring core.
Subject to securing a suitable farm in partner, Empire is anticipating the Lockyer Deep-1 prospect could be drilled in the last half of 2016.
Raven-1, EP 432
Raven-1 is a new play targeting oil in Jurassic Age sands and will test a large separate structure down dip of the Cataby-1 oil discovery. Raven has been matured to a prospect status.