Missing: one coal seam

TRIPLE Energy’s attempts to leverage Australian CSG experience and China’s deep experience in one of the country’s richest coal mining areas has hit yet another snag, with the latest well finding that one of its most promising deep coal seams is missing.

Haydn Black

This morning Triple said its second well, Niaoshan-1, had reached a depth of 1192m in what appears to be Seam-18, the deepest targeted seam. However, the overlying Seam-15 was not intersected, and the company now believes it has been faulted-out at the location.

Triple stressed it might still be around in the general Hegang area, and said the same missing seam issue had cropped up in the company’s 2013 Xian Xian-1 well.

“It will likely be present either side of this well,” managing director Paul Underwood said.

Seam-18 was intersected in-line with pre-drill prognosis and 8.6m of core has been collected.

The results of core sample analysis for reservoir characteristics and gas content should be known in about two wells.

Triple is planning a drill stem test, after which it will deepen the hole by a further 60m to allow room at the bottom of the hole for the running of the respective logging tools.

The company’s third well, Yixin-1, has been drilled to 37m, with work slowed due to some delayed equipment.

Once that gear arrives the well will drill down in the hopes of testing four seams.

After both wells have been completed they will be fracced and production tested, assuming the program is supported by core analysis. They will then be produced for six months.

That means a nervous few weeks for the company, which is hoping to prove the commerciality of the wells.

The Aolong Joint Venture is Triple’s only project, so the fate of the company hinges on success.

The JV is shared between Triple (80%) and state-owned LongMay Coal Mining Company (20%).

it was formed to target coals identified for future underground mining by Longmay that can be de-gassed prior to future mining operations in the Daqing Coal Basin.

The coal in the respective lease areas has a history of underground explosions and fires while mining and core drilling due to high gas content, so the JV is relatively confident the core analysis will recommend fraccing.

The first well, Xian-Xian-1, appeared to encounter better permeability than expected, with coal seams below 480m containing significantly greater amounts of gas, suggesting gas saturation/content is likely to increase with depth.

Total gas contents were around 15%, triple that of coals drilled in the Surat Basin.

Xian Xian-1 reached a total depth 965m and was suspended for re-entry with 68m of coal encountered. Originally Triple had planned to drill a lateral in Seam-15, however it has priorities the drilling of the two new pilot wells.