The find, originally called Senecio Deep, but now dubbed Waitsia, represents a new play with significant upside potential for the Perth basin.
The deeper horizons (Kingia and High Cliff sandstones) were penetrated by the continued drilling in the Senecio-3 well that appraised and confirmed the Senecio discovery earlier this month. These deep reservoirs have never been drilled in this part of the basin.
AWE says the presence of a significant quantity of potentially moveable hydrocarbons at Waitsia is indicated by strong gas shows, petrophysical analysis, and pressure data.
Further evaluation and appraisal will be needed to accurately define the size and lateral extent of the Waitsia accumulation, but initial estimates for 2C resources are 260 bcf.
Putting the two fields together, AWE believes the Senecio-Waitsia discovery could represent the largest onshore conventional gas find in Western Australia since the Dongara gas field in the 1960s.
Initial evaluation has identified 360 bcf of contingent resources.
There is substantial upside in that AWE is also looking at unconventional gas potential identified in the Carynginia shale and Irwin River Coal Measures during the drilling of Senecio-3.
AWE will flow test Senecio-3 in the coming weeks to establish commercial viability and the potential for early, low-cost development via existing plant and pipeline infrastructure that lies just 7 km west at the Dongara field.
A Waitsia appraisal well is also under consideration for drilling in early 2015.