ConocoPhillips commits to W. Australia shale gas project

ConocoPhillips has committed to its $109.5 million farmin to Perth-based New Standard Energy Ltd.’s (NSEL) Goldwyer shale gas project in Western Australia’s onshore Canning basin (OGJ Online, July 14, 2011).

ConocoPhillips will earn as much as 75% in the play by funding four phases in the exploration program. This includes three wells in 2012.

The major also will be required to fund all of the cost of complete detailed core analysis and undertake formation evaluation tests in the wells as part of the project’s first phase.

Analysis of the results from Phase 1 will determine the program design for the next three phases. ConocoPhillips has the right to withdraw following completion of each phase.

NSEL will continue as operator during the Phase 1 drilling and ConocoPhillips has the option to assume operatorship of the following stages.

The Goldwyer shale acreage covers 37,000 sq km and is said potentially to compare favorably with successful shale plays in the US and Canada.

New Standard says the presence of the US major validates its confidence in the unconventional gas prospectivity of the Goldwyer shale in the Canning region. It will also be pivotal in gaining access to ConocoPhillips’s specialized technical expertise in unconventional gas exploration and production operations around the world.

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