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    Origin Gets Greenlight For Oz Shale Drilling


It is the second approval of hydraulic fracturing use since the Northern Territory lifted its moratorium last year.

by: Joseph Murphy

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Origin Gets Greenlight For Oz Shale Drilling

Australia-focused Origin Energy has secured the go-ahead from authorities to drill the first of two horizontal appraisal wells targeting shale gas plays in the onshore Beetaloo sub-basin.

The Northern Territory’s department for the environment and natural resources has approved Origin’s environment management plan for the Kyalla 117 N2 well, its Irish partner Falcon Energy said in an August 22 statement. The approval paves the way for drilling, hydraulic fracturing and testing the borehole, expected in September.

Origin operates three exploration permits in the Northern Territory with 70% while Falcon has 30%. The pair have already sunk four wells at the Kyalla and Velkerri shale formations, and plan to drill two more this year, one in each. Three more wells are planned beyond 2019.

Origin is the second company to secure approval for shale drilling since the Northern Territory lifted its ban on fracking in March. In July, Australia’s Santos got permission to drill two wells using fracking. Origin booked a rig from Ensign Australia earlier this year to undertake its drilling programme.