top of page

Buru completes Rafael 3D seismic acquisition

Vibroseis trucks collected 3D seismic from Buru Energy’s Rafael project. Credit: File

Buru Energy has acquired some 200 square kilometres of high-resolution 3D seismic data within and around its 100 per cent-owned prodigious Rafael gas-condensate project in Western Australia’s Kimberley region.

The company’s Rafael-1 well was drilled on 2D seismic data and the 3D data will provide management with greater clarity on the structure and gas-condensate volumes. Once the data, which also includes several 2D lines in an adjoining permit, is processed and interpreted by year’s end, it will drive the search for a suitable joint venture (JV) partner and appraisal drilling for next year.

The data was recorded by Terrex Seismic at two exploration permits – Buru’s 100-per cent-owned EP 428 that contains Rafael, and EP 457, which the company shares in a 60:40 JV with Rey Resources.

The 2D seismic lines, which are cheaper to acquire than 3D but provide more resolution than historic versions of 2D seismic, were collected from nearby prospects. On a discovery basis if drilled, management believes the prospects could add potential reserves to the Rafael development and strengthen its economic case. The financial impost of the seismic program was minimised by the $4 million Origin Energy contributed after it agreed to exit from its JV interests in the Canning Basin permits in February.

Once Buru’s final interpretation of its newly-acquired seismic is complete, it will provide the necessary template to re-assess the Rafael gas-condensate volumetrics and provide the sub-surface resolution to locate and orient the appraisal wells on the structure. The objective of the appraisal drilling will be to ultimately prove up as much reserves as possible with the least number of wells by best positioning them to identify the extent of the gas column, in addition to assessing reservoir characteristics, continuity and productivity.

Prior to the appraisal drilling, the company says it will have significantly de-risked the uncertainties in the structure and volumetrics of Rafael, putting it in a strong negotiating position to farm out a percentage of the permit to a new JV partner to help alleviate future costs.

The completion of the Rafael 3D seismic survey is yet another major milestone on the pathway to commercialise Buru’s 100% owned and operated Rafael discovery – the first proven significant conventional gas and condensate field in the Canning Basin. Initial results of the 3D seismic survey are expected to be available over the next two months and will provide valuable information for resource appraisal planning. The survey data will also provide prospective partners seeking to participate in this potentially transformative development an additional level of certainty in the size of the resource. Buru Energy chief executive officer Thomas Nador

An independent review last year into Rafael’s volume contained within the Ungani dolomite reservoir, suggested a gross contingent gas resource ranging from 59 billion cubic feet (BCF) at a low-side estimate, to 260 BCF as a best estimate and 1.024 trillion cubic feet (TCF) as a high-side estimate, with minor additions from the overlying Upper Laurel dolomite reservoir.

The high-case volume estimate is based on a gas column height of 634m, coincident with the seismically-mapped structural closure seen on the 2D data. Pressure data recorded in Rafael-1, however, suggests it may be up to 900m, implying probable stratigraphic trapping and further enhancement of the currently-estimated gas volumes.

The company believes the 3D seismic data will facilitate the best opportunity to scrutinise the sub-surface stratigraphy and potentially resolve the upside conundrum.

Buru is fast-tracking all efforts to effectively monetise its promising Rafael resource, with seismic interpreters poised to unveil the true nature of the feature, negotiators appealing to an attractive suitor and drilling engineers finalising plans for a drilling rig.

Is your ASX-listed company doing something interesting? Contact:


bottom of page