A key feature of the permit is the vertically fractured architecture of the target coals. While vertical wells could not produce gas in the expected volumes, ESG found that lateral wells could realise the potential of the coal seams. Following a number of successful lateral pilots, the company is looking forward to trialling a new ‘stacked multi-lateral pilot’ well design. This design involves two or more lateral wells targeting different seams being drilled from the one location, allowing very high gas recovery rates.
The permit’s location also protects it from one of the key issues facing Queensland’s CSG sector – water management. In response to environmental concerns, the Queensland Government recently passed legislation on the management of CSG water, as well as establishing landholder committees in affected areas. Luckily, ESG’s primary targets are completely surrounded by layers of rock, which means that they are isolated from regional aquifers. This also means that CSG drilling for the project will not affect the Great Artesian Basin or the surface area.
ESG is looking to commercialise the Narrabri project in multiple stages.