Successful placement secures plans for further drilling

ASX-listed Strike Energy has sparked investor interest by announcing an active drilling plan for 2012, as well as a new leadership team.
According to the company, Australian east coast gas demand is forecast to triple by 2016, particularly from LNG projects now under construction. Strike’s shares jumped nearly 8 per cent on the day the company secured a $20 million placement to continue its progress with the Eagle Ford shale project in Texas and its drilling program in Australia’s Cooper Basin. Its conventional and unconventional projects in the Basin comprise 16,000 square kilometres of permits and applications – one of the largest holdings in the area.
In the Cooper Basin, potential exists for extensive coal and shale formations in key unconventional permits (PEL 94, PEL 95 and PEL 96) measuring more than 4600sqkm.
The Marsden 1 unconventional coal and shale evaluation well in PEL 95, shared with Beach Energy, was spudded on April 10. Core samples and cuttings from the well will be analysed during the coming months. Strike managing director David Wrench
said the results from Marsden 1 could lead to a bigger future for the company. “We are very encouraged by the preliminary data received to date from Marsden 1. While we will be receiving additional data over the next few months from laboratory analysis of the samples taken, these early results are indicative of a very large and potentially liquids-rich prospective gas resource,” he said. “We know from our experience in the Eagle Ford shale [project] that the recovery of liquids associated with gas production
significantly enhances project economies.”
Heightened drilling activity in the southern Cooper Basin has revealed the potential for unconventional energy, with commercial and technical analysis underway to develop follow-on programs and prove the existence, quantity and recoverability of underlying liquids and gases. Evaluation well Davenport 1, 35 per cent owned by Strike, was spudded on April 25.
Drilling, logging and coring was expected to be completed by the end of May. The two-well exploration program is expected to confirm the presence of gases and liquids for future development.
Strike also has assets in Carnarvon, WA. Its baseline exploration and development activities are fully-funded for 2012, and cash flow from all operations is expected to reach $4 million.
According to Strike, the Eagle Ford shale project is emerging as one of the world’s best shale regions. As such, the company is increasing its drilling activity in the area.


By Courtney Pearson

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