The Warro Gas Project is an exciting project for Western Australia’s industry, the local Badgingarra community and the joint venture partners. The field has 4.4 to 11.6 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) in place.
The current stage of the program is focusing on reviewing the well results from Warro-5 and Warro-6 in conjunction with the information gathered from Warro-3 and Warro-4 to identify sand(s) that are likely to produce gas at commercial rates. Pending the outcome of this work and ongoing status of the current Statewide moratorium on fracture stimulation activities, it is expected that further field appraisal work will take place in 2020.
The field is situated in a convenient location onshore in the Perth Basin, about 200km north of Perth.
It is less than 35km east of both the Dampier-Bunbury Natural Gas Pipeline and the Dongara-Perth Parmelia Pipeline.
The Warro Gas Field (contained within Retention Leases 6 and 7) was discovered in 1977 by WAPET when the Warro-1 well intersected a substantial gas-saturated column. Further drilling confirmed a 390m gas column in what is called the Yarragadee Formation.
Whitebark became involved in the project in November 2007 when it agreed to provide $3.6 million in seed capital as a loan to Latent Petroleum, which held full ownership of the Warro Gas Project and was progressing it as its sole focus. The loan agreement offered Whitebark the right to earn a 10% interest in the Warro Gas Field.
Less than a year later, in 2008, Alcoa of Australia entered into a farm-in agreement with Latent Petroleum, at which time Whitebark elected to exercise its right to convert the $3.6 million loan into a 10% interest in the Warro project.
On 23 March 2011, Whitebark announced the acquisition of Latent Petroleum, which as a wholly owned subsidiary of Whitebark, remains operator and is continuing to evaluate the Warro Gas Project on behalf of the joint venture.
In 2009 and 2011, Latent Petroleum drilled two wells (Warro-3 and Warro-4) and acquired a 3D seismic survey over the field. Gas was safely produced from both wells. Up to December 2014, the Warro field was contained in Exploration Permits 321 and 407. The Warro Joint Venture successfully applied for the field locations to be converted to Retention Leases 6 and 7, awarded in December 2014. At the same time, the remainder of EP407 was relinquished in full along with four graticular blocks in EP321.
The Warro Joint Venture also successfully negotiated a Native Title Agreement with the Yued people during 2014. This agreement allows for field operations through development and production to take place.
A group of independent experts based in the US completed a detailed analysis of the available data (including 3D seismic data) on the Warro Gas Field in 2012. The analysis confirmed significant quantities of gas are held within the field, with the potential to flow at high rates.
As a result of these findings, the Warro Joint Venture decided in late 2014 to continue its evaluation of the field by drilling the Warro-5 and Warro-6 wells during the second half of 2015. These wells were completed in early 2016 and were part of an extended well test program that concluded in Q2, 2016.
In March 2016, it was announced that the Warro-4 well would be re-entered and tested to gain further insight into the whole field. The work was completed in the middle of 2016.
In 2017, the West Australian Government imposed a moratorium on fraccing while an independent scientific inquiry into the impact of the process on the environment was completed. This moratorium has placed the project in hiatus. Appraisal work continues.
In May 2018, the JV relinquished EP321 and RL6 to focus on the core location of RL7. Alcoa agreed to relinquish its earned interest to Whitebark Energy (Latent Petroleum) in June 2018. This will give the company greater ability and flexibility to progress the project.
During the appraisal work detailed above, the Joint Venture work with the CSIRO and UWA to gather base line information on soil and atmospheric gases, water quality and seismicity in the region around Warro. All this monitoring work has demonstrated that the activities at Warro (including fracture stimulation), have been done safely and without any adverse environmental or social impacts.
As part of its social commitment to the region, the company has conducted a planting scheme in the Watheroo National Park in cooperation with the Badgingarra Primary School. The company has developed an excellent relationship with the local community and in supporting local events and groups.