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    Tamboran plans FID on EP 98 pilot development by end-2023: interview


The company has kicked off activities at EP 98 in Australia's Beetaloo basin with the drilling of the Amungee 2H well in early November.

by: Shardul Sharma

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Tamboran plans FID on EP 98 pilot development by end-2023: interview

ASX-listed Tamboran Resources is planning to take a final investment decision (FID) on the 100 terajoules (TJ)/day pilot development in its 38.75%-owned EP 98 acreage in the Beetaloo basin by the end of the calendar year 2023, CEO Joel Riddle told NGW.

“We are currently in the pre-FEED stage on associated infrastructure,” Riddle said. “We have an MoU with Jemena that provides Tamboran with firm capacity up to 100 TJ/day through the Northern Gas Pipeline. Tamboran plans to take FID on the pilot development by the end of calendar year 2023, subject to JV approvals and changes to development timelines.”

Tamboran has kicked off activities at EP 98 with the drilling of the Amungee 2H well in early November. The second well location is currently being reviewed. Tamboran plans to progress the pilot development within the EP 98 acreage, or equivalent or better acreage within the permit footprint, with gas contracted to Origin Energy under the recently signed gas sales agreement (GSA). Tamboran is partnered with London-listed Falcon Oil and Gas and Daly Waters Energy in the EP 98. 

The company recently completed the acquisition of Origin’s interest in the Beetaloo basin. Origin in September announced its plans to divest its interest in the Northern Territory’s Beetaloo basin, and exit its upstream exploration permits not related to Australia Pacific LNG.

Tamboran and its substantial shareholder, Bryan Sheffield, have bought a 77.5% stake in the Beetaloo joint venture from Origin for A$60mn and a royalty on future production over the life of the field across the interest being acquired. The deal gives Tamboran operatorship of EPs 98, 117, and 76.

In addition, Origin has executed a GSA for up to 36.5 petajoules (PJ)/year over 10 years, conditional on Tamboran taking an FID on developing the project and associated infrastructure and obtaining regulatory approvals.

Tamboran is targeting 5 trillion ft3 of 2P reserves by the end of 2025, which has been supported by a maturation study provided by Netherland, Sewell and Associated, Inc. (NSAI).

“The maturation is supported commercially from Tamboran’s interest in the binding GSA with Origin Energy and a proposed 2.2mn metric tons/year LNG tolling agreement or development opportunity by the end of 2025,” Riddle said.

No immediate plans for a fund raise

The company in September completed the A$138mn capital raise and has no plans for further raise capital in the immediate future.

“We have no immediate need to raise equity, having recently completed the $138mn raise in September 2022,” Riddle said.

“We continue to assess opportunities to fund future development of our Beetaloo assets, including debt financing (supported by our bankable GSA with Origin), pre-payment for gas, asset farm-down and/or equity raise,” he added. “Our board and management hold significant ownership of the company, therefore, limiting dilution is a key focus as we progress the commercialisation of the Beetaloo.”


Output from the pilot for domestic gas market

Tamboran has committed 100% of production from the pilot development to the domestic gas market, supported by the GSA with Origin.

“National energy security is very important to us and we will endeavour to support the Australian domestic gas market for many decades,” Riddle said.

Beetaloo basin has about 150 trillion ft3 of prospective gas resources (net Tamboran) compared to Australia’s domestic east coast demand of about 660bn ft3/year.

“Theoretically, if commercialised, the Beetaloo could supply Australia’s east coast domestic gas demand for more than 200 years. With this in mind, we see an opportunity to supply low-CO2 natural gas to the Asia-Pacific, supporting energy transition in the region,” he said.

Riddle believes natural gas will play a significant role in Australia and the world through the energy transition.  

“Gas from the Beetaloo basin is important to supporting Australia’s transition to renewable energy due to the low reservoir CO2 content, which is 3-4%. This is expected to eventually offset gas from higher CO2 reservoirs, including the Cooper basin (20-30%), offshore Victoria (about 10%),” he said.