Domestic natural gas and helium producer Renergen has made another significant gas strike at its Virginia gas project, this time in well MDR1, 300 m north of the currently producing MDR5 well.
The Virginia project is located in South Africa’s Free State province.
The MDR1 well, which was originally an abandoned hole drilled several years ago, has been re-drilled and re-directed using horizontal drilling techniques to intersect the anticipated gas-bearing fracture, with a view to providing additional gas deliverability for the Phase 1 development, which is under construction.
Despite several challenges drilling with the previously untested technique, the well is now producing gas at an estimated 86 000 standard cubic feet a day.
“MDR1 is another important well for us for two reasons. The most obvious reason is that it is less than 600 m from the new plant, so it will tie in quickly and easily.
"The second reason this is important is that we now have an accumulating body of evidence to suggest that we can significantly reduce spacing between wells without influencing individual well production, which, in turn, means a higher well density in the prevailing production scenario,” Renergen CEO Stefano Marani explained in a March 11 statement.
The progress comes as a surprise though, as the company had not expected this well to produce for a few more weeks, as the lost circulation material injected in the well generally takes several weeks to cure and open the fractures, “so this well may just even produce more in time which would be an unexpected bonus”.