Empire launches fracking of Carpentaria-2H in the bustling Beetaloo on back of rising gas prices

Wed 13 Jul 22, 1:16pm (AEST)
A fracking well
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Key Points

  • Empire Energy kicks off hydraulic fracturing at Carpentaria-2H
  • Several fluid mixes will be used to optimise production post-dewatering
  • Extended production test over three months to occur later this year

Empire Energy (ASX:EEG) is hoping to be the next big thing in the prolific Beetaloo Basin with the company’s Carpentaria-2H well fracture stimulation operations proceeding today. 

Located in the Beetaloo sub-basin and 100% owned by Empire, the well has already seen its first 25 planned stages successfully pumped within the Velkerri B shale geology on-site. 

Fracking wells tend to run horizontally underground with waterjet apparatuses allowing materials to escape at high pressure along targeted points of shale rock. 

Today, those waterjets will begin doing their thing, with the actual “fracking” now underway. 

Despite an undesirable reputation, fracking technology has increased in recent years with risk mitigation increasing in efficacy. 

 Only in densely populated regions like Texas, where fracking sites may be only hundreds of metres apart for kilometres in any direction, have earthquake warnings been issued. 

Lower-impact fluid for lower ESG risk 

Empire notes today it is using a specialised blend of fracturing materials downhole Carpentaria-2H so as to both enhance gas flows (after materials are removed) and test which are most effective moving forward. 

The company is well-funded for this current fracturing run with a current cash-in-bank count of nearly $44m. 

Investors ought to note, however, proceeds of a recently completed share purchase plan will be announced in the coming days. 

A rendition of C-H2, giving an idea of what exactly the company is doing underground
A rendition of C-H2, giving an idea of what exactly the company is doing underground

Busy year for Empire 

Following the completion of flow tests at Carpentaria-2h, Empire will move onto drilling the Carpentaria-4V vertical well in the eastern portion of the company’s Beetaloo basin acreage. 

Meanwhile, the Carpentaria-2H well pad will horizontally drill, fracture and flow test Carpentaria 3-H later this year. 

Allow time for fluid removal 

The catch with fracking is that materials pumped underground need to be slowly removed over a matter of weeks, so as to keep the perforations steady and stabilise pressure downhole. 

Fracking waste materials will be transported to a lined sump dump on-site, or into tanks, depending on cost and logistics. 

Once fracking materials (including sand abrasive liquids, acids and expanding gels) have been removed, companies are able to commence gas flow testing. 

What this means: Empire investors will be waiting at least a month or two to hear about final results for Carpentaria-2H. 

But with acreage in the prestigious Beetaloo Basin, it’s likely they’re more than happy to wait. 

Back in May, Empire’s share price climbed on the back of high US gas prices as NT drilling was set to get underway. With those trends now repeating, Empire Energy operations is sure to be watched.

With healthy cash and premium acreage, has Empire been overlooked in the energy rally? (XEJ for comparison)
With healthy cash and premium acreage, has Empire been overlooked in the energy rally? (XEJ for comparison)


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Written By

Jonathon Davidson

Finance Writer

Jonathon is a journalism graduate and avid market watcher with exposure to governance, NGO and mining environments. He was most recently hired as an oil and gas specialist for a trade publication. Email Jon at [email protected].

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