Scots oil prospectors tread softly Down Under for Warrego Energy seismic surveys


Dennis Donald and Duncan MacNiven are pictured beside the large ‘flotation’ tyres fitted to Warrego Energy’s seismic survey trucks to prevent damage to local flora and fauna.
Dennis Donald and Duncan MacNiven are pictured beside the large ‘flotation’ tyres fitted to Warrego Energy’s seismic survey trucks to prevent damage to local flora and fauna.

Two expat Scottish energy prospectors who set up Warrego Energy in Western Australia have successfully completed 3D seismic surveys ofthe West Erregulla tight gas field in the Perth Basin in expectation of drilling later this year or in 2016.

Warrego Energy, founded by Scottish entrepreneurs Dennis Donald and Duncan MacNiven, operates Block 469 on behalf of its partners, Dutch-based companies, Dyas BV and Mazarine BV.

 A seismic acquisition contract was awarded to West Australian firm Terrex in late 2014.  Using state-of-the-art, cable-free, nodal technologies, geological images of the tight gas field have been captured in an environmentally sympathetic fashion. Further prospective targets were also imaged as part of the survey.

Significant environmental preparatory work was undertaken prior to the survey.  Respected local botanists walked the equivalent of 900 kilometres to inventory protected flora within the survey area.  Australian firm WKC Spatial used the botanical work and pinpointed the flora to be avoided.  GPS maps were then used to accurately plot this vegetation. 

Seismic access tracks were prepared by Geraldton-based Central Earth Movers (CEM) to allow the equipment to operate across the terrain.  Approximately 170 kilometres of tracks were prepared using GPS-guided, tractor mounted mulchers.  In this way, all protected flora were successfully avoided. 

Dennis Donald, Managing Director, Warrego Energy, said: “The rigor displayed in seismic preparation highlights the engagement and commitment of Warrego and its partners to Western Australia, the Traditional Owners, local stakeholders and the environment. 

“The business partners fell in love with WA while working in a previous business.  Predicting the emergence of the Perth Basin they set up Warrego to embrace the opportunities that are now rapidly emerging.”

All tracks prepared to allow access for the survey will be rehabilitated according to a plan agreed with the WA Department of Mines and Petroleum.  The EP469 Joint Venture has also committed to acquiring a significant parcel of land that will eventually be covenanted to the West Australian State.  This land will be used to preserve the flora and fauna in the area and to offset any environmental impact of the joint venture’s activities. 

Duncan MacNiven, Director of Warrego Energy, said: “WCK Spatial and CEM provided an exemplary service in preparation for the seismic campaign.  In addition, Terrex had over 70 people in the local area and produced an excellent survey with minimal impact.”

As a result, Warrego and the Joint Venture look forward to positive results from the seismic survey in the near term.  Based on satisfactory results, the Joint Venture plans to drill West Erregulla-2 late in 2015 or early 2016.

Onshore Exploration Permit EP 469 was awarded to Warrego Energy 100% in April 2010.  It is situated 300km north of Perth in the North Perth Basin and comprises an area of 224 km.  The discovery well on the licence, West Erregulla 1 was drilled in 1990 by Barrack Energy.

Warrego Energy Limited is a private company registered in Scotland. Its wholly owned subsidiary Warrego Energy Pty Ltd is registered in Western Australia.  Warrego Energy Limited was founded in 2007 by Scottish entrepreneurs and long-time business partners, Dennis Donald and Duncan MacNiven.

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