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ASX: EEG - Empire Energy Group

Updated: Mar 28

Empire Energy Group: The Beetaloo Basin - a biblical scale gas region that dwarfs everything

Empire Energy Managing Director Alex Underwood on 3AW, 2GB, 4BC, 6PR Bulls N' Bears Report

Listen to ASX-listed Empire Energy Group Managing Director Alex Underwood talk to Matt Birney on the Bulls N’ Bears Report about the Northern Territory Government’s green light to develop possibly the largest on-shore gas region on the planet – and Empire Energy is in the thick of it.


Empire Energy is the largest landholder in the rapidly developing Beetaloo Sub-basin in the Northern Territory. Some say the Beetaloo is harbouring almost biblical scale on-shore gas resources and after tying itself up in knots for years over how to develop the Beetaloo, the Northern territory Government recently announced it has settled on a regulatory frame work for companies like Empire to start producing gas - and it’s game on now for the $140m ASX-listed company.


Matt Birney - Welcome to Bulls N' Bears brought to you 

today by gas developer Empire Energy.

Matt Birney - ASX code: EEG

Matt Birney - I'm Matt Birney and I'm joined now by the Managing 

Director of Empire Energy, Alex Underwood.

Matt Birney - Hi Alex.

Alex Underwood - Hi Matt

Matt Birney - Okay so Empire Energy is one of the largest landholders in the rapidly developing Beetaloo Sub-basin in the Northern Territory. Some say that Beetaloo is harbouring almost biblical scale on-shore gas resources and after tying itself up in knots for years over how to develop the Beetaloo, the Northern Territory government recently announced it has settled on a regulatory framework for companies like Empire to start producing gas at scale - and it’s game on now for the $140m ASX-listed company.

Matt Birney - Okay Alex let's get to the core of the Northern Territory's brand new regulatory framework to develop gas out in the Beetaloo.

Matt Birney - What are the key planks of it and what does it mean for Empire?

Alex Underwood - Yeah so Matt the Northern Territory government has been implementing a regulatory framework since 2018 in relation to onshore gas and we're very pleased to see that that reached its conclusion last week. And this provides a green light for moving into production. This is a very robust regulatory framework and we're very excited to move forward.

Matt Birney - Okay so just how much gas do the experts think might be buried in the Beetaloo Sub-basin firstly?  

Matt Birney - And secondly can you put that number in some kind of perspective for me because it's huge right?

Alex Underwood - Yeah it's one of the largest shale gas accumulations on Earth. Over 500 trillion cubic feet of gas in just the B Shale alone which is one of four zones. To put this into perspective the North West Shelf Venture, one of Australia's greatest export success stories, is about a 30 TCF gas field or to think of it another way, we're talking about a couple of hundred years worth of Australian gas demand, just in this one field.

Matt Birney - And how much gas have you got on your ground? What's your resource at the moment?

Alex Underwood - Yeah we had a total recoverable resource of around 43 trillion cubic feet of gas so a big number.

Matt Birney - Okay now how many wells do you currently have at the Beetaloo? What stage are they at and how well are they flowing?

Alex Underwood - So we've drilled four wells to date. Two of those are verticals and two of them are horizontal fracked appraisal wells. These were the biggest frack jobs in Australian history and indeed the second one was the longest horizontal ever drilled onshore Australia and the results have been highly encouraging. We're seeing rates that we believe are commercial.

Matt Birney - How many wells are you planning to drill at the Beetaloo? How much will each one cost and what sort of return do you expect to get?

Alex Underwood - Yeah so we're going to start off with a pilot project next year which will tie in those two horizontal wells and then we'll drill a couple more wells and we'll move that into production through an existing pipeline right through our tenement. Those wells are likely to cost us about 20 million dollars each and then as we move into larger scale development, we see the cost can come down further from there. To put these costs into perspective, we're talking about a development cost of between $2.50 and $3.00 dollars a gigajoule which we believe looks very attractive against the current gas price of well over $10.00

Matt Birney - Alex Underwood from Empire Energy.

Matt Birney - Thanks for joining me on Bulls N' Bears and remember we're only here to give you information not advice which you should of course seek independently.

Matt Birney - I'm Matt Birney and this is Bulls N' Bears.

OUTRO - For more public company interviews go to the money page on the 6PR, 2GB 3AW and 4BC websites and click the public companies tab

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