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ADX Energy spuds well in bid to supply Europe with Austrian gas

Updated: Mar 25

ADX is drilling for gas deep in the heart of Austria. Credit: File

ADX Energy has launched the drilling of its much-publicised Welchau-1 gas well in Austria in a bid to help secure gas energy supply independence for the European country.

Welchau-1, which was spudded just two days ago, has the advantage of being relatively shallow, close to major industrial demand centres in adjacent European countries and is located near established gas pipelines.

The new well is plumbing the depths of the southern extremity of the company’s petroleum gas exploration licence in the Northern Calcareous Alps in Upper Austria. It is targeting the mid-Triassic age Steinalm formation where gas was previously discovered at the nearby Molln-1 well, yielding condensate rich, pipeline-quality gas at a rate of 4 million standard cubic feet (MMscf) per day in 1989.

The rig is expected to drill to a total depth of between 1500m and 1900m, with its main target range being between 1100m and 1800m.

The Welchau-1 well has attracted extensive media attention. Importantly, Austrian news reports are very positive due to a growing recognition of the importance of gas exploration in Austria to provide security of supply, economic benefit and lessen the dependence on Russian gas imports. ADX Energy executive chairman Ian Tchacos

The area enclosed by the company’s licence boundary and the mapped northern margin of the Northern Calcareous Alps marks its farm-in area with MCF Energy, which will fund 50 per cent of the well up to €1.5 million ($AU2.48 million) to earn a 25 per cent interest in the Welchau Investment Area.

The investment area contains the Welchau-1 well and other emerging oil and gas prospects. Once MCF has met its funding obligations, ADX will hold a 75 per cent interest in the Welchau Investment Area.

Meanwhile, ADX retains a 100 per cent interest in the remainder of the exploration license, except for ground which surrounds its Anshof well discovery area.

The contracted RED Drilling & Services E200 rig is targeting the Triassic Age (199.6 to 251 million years ago) Steinalm formation with a 17.5-inch diameter hole and by yesterday, it had already attained a depth of 60m.

The company says the Welchau prospect has “exceptional gas resource potential”, estimating its best technical prospective resources at 807 billion cubic feet equivalent (BCFE) – a term denoting the best estimate of the quantity that will be recovered from an accumulation by an oil and gas project.

ADX’s endeavour is well-situated, right in the heart of Europe, close to major industrial demand centres in nearby countries – especially Germany, Italy, Switzerland and France – and is close to established gas pipelines.

Management says its success case drilling and evaluation program is anticipated to take about 39 days.

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