Santos has announced that a fourth rig, the Ensign 965, has commenced operations in the Cooper Basin, which will help to supply gas to the east coast domestic market.
The rig will drill eight wells by the end of 2018, starting in the Big Lake field with four deviated wells from a multi-well pad. Following this, the project will move to Moomba South, drilling four more appraisal wells there. The announcement also indicates that Santos will have then drilled almost 90 wells in the Cooper Basin this year, forming the most wells drilled in a single year for the company since 2014.
“As Santos has become Australia’s lowest cost onshore natural gas developer, reducing development well costs by more than 40 per cent in the Cooper since 2015, we now have the right cost base to invest in making the most of the vast discovered resource base of Cooper Basin natural gas,” announced Santos Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Kevin Gallagher.
“Santos is breathing new life into the Cooper Basin which has been producing for more than 50 years and could still have its best years in front of it as we learn more about new geological plays and as drilling and production technology advances,” he said.
According to their Second Quarter report in July, Santos’ Cooper Basin gas production is up approximately 8 per cent in comparison to the previous quarter, which could be attributed to a strong performance from recently connected wells.
“Drilling more wells and lowering production costs – extracting more gas for less money – is the best way to keep downward pressure on gas prices,” added Mr Gallagher.
Santos will supply about 70 petajoules (PJ) of gas into the east coast domestic market in 2018, which is almost 13 per cent of expected demand.
More information on this announcement can be found here.