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ADX progresses Romanian gas play

ADX Energy continues to progress its Iecea Mica-1 gas well in Romanian towards production with an operations team to be mobilised to site in the coming days. The team will start acidisation once on site to help stimulate gas production and then assess the potential gas flows from the bore as it proceeds toward production.

ADX’s Iecea Mica-1, or “IMIC-1” gas well lies within the Parta project, owned, and operated by Danube Petroleum Ltd, which is in turn 49 per cent owned by ADX.

The Parta exploration license covers more than 1,000 square kilometres in western Romania, 430km northwest of the capital Bucharest along the Serbian border. The license adjoins the regional centre of Timisoara and hosts a number of sedimentary units that are recognised reservoirs for commercial quantities of gas, oil and hydrocarbon condensate.

ADX hit paydirt early on in its development program with the IMIC-1 well intersecting three hydrocarbon-rich stratigraphic horizons that are estimated to have the potential to produce commercial quantities of natural gas. Work to date shows that, of the three horizons, the PA IV sand is a proven gas reservoir across the basin and has the greatest ‘upside potential’ – it is this sedimentary unit that is the focus of ADX’s development program.

Petrophysical analysis of the PA IV sand shows that it is not a ‘tight’ reservoir, exhibiting strong permeability and 20 per cent porosity for both healthy gas flows and significant capacity as a regional hydrocarbon reservoir.

The evaluation the PA IV reservoir was suspended earlier in the year following the success of early testing, with downhole gauges returning pressures of 200 bar indicating the potential for commercial production flows. This pause in activity was undertaken to facilitate the manufacture of downhole production equipment, potentially fast-tracking ADX into commercial production.

However, the suspension of development at IMIC-1 persisted longer than expected due to the outbreak of COVID-19 and subsequent border closures.

ADX’s program is now back on track and gaining momentum with rising gas prices underpinning the company’s development program. Increased demand and restricted supply have driven gas prices to almost double in recent months as more high-cost producers have been forced to shut down.

The resumption of testing on the IMIC-1 well indicated strong downhole gas pressures but the flows were restricted due to the expected minor damage of the PA IV reservoir sands immediately surrounding the IMIC-1 bore.

The interstitial space, or space between sand grains in the wall rock surrounding the bore, is likely filled and blocked with a mix of mud filter cake and carbonates, siderite and calcite, that have precipitated in the wake of drilling, preventing the free flow of gas into the well.

With ADX’s operations team being deployed in the coming days its first task will be to inject acid into the well, dissolving the offending carbonate accumulations and helping clear the mud filter cake, before lifting the well to restore flow. This acidisation process is a common practice in Romania and enhances wellbore permeability and gas flows.

The operations team will also conduct surface testing of the produced gases, including separation, measuring flow rates and potential reservoir capacity in addition to flaring. The gas samples from the well will be tested to determine its suitability for commercial sale.

Once commercial flows in IMIC-1 have been restored, the company will initiate a larger program across the Parta license. High resolution 2D seismic surveying through the well area and its surrounds are scheduled to kick off in coming weeks. Modelling of the seismic data will assist in determining the stratigraphic upside of the PA IV reservoir, including its overall extent and potential capacity.

ADX expects the current acidisation and well testing regime over IMIC-1 will be completed over the coming fortnight and cost around €230,000. With the program expected to restore gas flows, stimulate production to sustainable levels and pave the way for the commercial development of the IMIC-1, ADX appears back on track and on the path to production.

Is your ASX listed company doing something interesting? Contact: matt.birney@wanews.com.au

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