Chile’s government oil and gas company, ENAP, confirmed a successful experiment with hydraulic fracturing to extract non conventional tight gas at the Arenal Block in Tierra del Fuego, where the company operates with no partners.
The experiment took place in vertical exploration wells that had been drilled in late 2012 and early 2013 with special equipment to inject water, sands and chemicals to permeate the rock and facilitate the gas flow.
The initial flows have reached an average 120.000 cubic metres per day per well plus some extra volume of condensate gas.
Although the preliminary flow could decline as the well stabilizes, ENAP described the result as the discovery of a new non conventional gas deposit.
A 40 kilometres pipeline collector has been built with the purpose of channelling the produce at the experimental stage, to residents in Punta Arenas and Tierra del Fuego.
“The task so far comes to prove that the original hypothesis of the existence and potential production of tight gas in the Magallanes basin in which we have been working is correct”, said ENAP CEO Ricardo Cruzat.
Although primary results are an important milestone for ENAP exploration strategy, “we must wait for the results of the technical and commercial assessment which we will have once the wells are connected to the collector pipeline with output stabilized and quantification of productivity. This will finally determine the volume of recoverable reserves from this new reservoir”.
Cruzat added that ENAP is investing 100 million dollars this year in the Magallanes region, “our highest in the last fifteen years, but we must take these preliminary results with caution and continue with the two year plan we have programmed. When we have an idea of the magnitude and potential of the discovery we can begin with the drilling of further wells as has been planned for the following stage”.
Earlier in the year at a hearing before the Chilean congressional committee on energy and mining Cruzat said ENAP has signed up with a foreign technology provider to explore and produce the unconventional hydrocarbons for “the first fracking campaign in the country for tight gas and later for shale oil” and for which special fracking sand was to be imported for the project.
This is part of the deep Springhill tight gas project, said Cruzat and later in the year we will begin to implement plans to explore for shale oil also in Tierra del Fuego.