A new Australian-developed technology could make an important contribution to solving the country’s gas crisis by improving production rates and removing many of the environmental impacts associated with traditional fracking, according to the technology’s licensee, V2H Australia.
The technology, developed over 20 years under a joint initiative between the industry-backed Mining3 research hub and private investors, replaces traditional drill heads with a high-pressure water system that can rapidly install extensive patterns of lateral radial boreholes into multiple coal seams directly from a standard vertical production well.
It allows the laterals to be drilled from both existing and new wells, which in turn can maximise drainage efficiency and increase production.
For producers, the technology has the capacity to significantly lower capital and operational expenditure, increase well recoverability and lower environmental impacts. V2H could also be an enabler in some geological locations where there is currently no economic means of recovery, it said.
V2H Australia chief executive Darren Rice said improving production rates would be the only way to satisfy offshore demand for gas while ensuring healthy supplies for the domestic market.
“An increase in supply – through new wells and greater efficiency of existing wells – is still the best solution for urgently addressing an undersupply issue,” Rice said. “With more gas flowing there will be more available for the domestic market which will improve reliability and lower prices.
“There are already a huge number of existing wells attached to existing infrastructure which have not been tapped to their full potential. Our technology was developed specifically for this purpose.”
More than $40 million has been spent developing the technology and in Australia, field trials have been completed with a number of operators.
Last year the company appointed director Glenn Davis as chairman following the completion of a multi-million dollar capital raising.
V2H Australia was created as the domestic licensee for a suite of technology owned by V2H International. The patented technology has been under development for several years and has application on both surface and underground operations, as well as in the coal seam gas (CSG) industry.