Drilling Results of Spitfire Oil Field in SA Exceeds Senex’s Expectations


Senex Energy Limited announced Wednesday that successful appraisal and development drilling has extended Spitfire oil field in PEL 104 (Senex 60% and operator) in South Australia.

Results from recent drilling have shown that the Birkhead reservoir has a higher top of sand location, lower oil-water contact and greater lateral extent than previously identified. In addition, the quality of the Birkhead Formation sand in Spitfire-4 and Spitfire-6 is better than previously observed. The Spitfire oil field is a combination stratigraphic/structural trap that is defined by sands within the Birkhead Formation and a structural high that is currently interpreted in the vicinity of Spitfire-4.

The results of appraisal and development drilling at Spitfire is summarized below:

  • Spitfire-4
    • Well details: Type – Appraisal; Total depth – 5,931 feet (1,808 meters); Location – 1,640 feet (500 meters) north west of Spitfire-2
    • Net Pay: 45.2 feet (13.8 meters)
    • Results: Intersected more than 65 feet (20 meters) of sand; Highest structural intersection of the Birkhead within the field; 16 feet (5 meters) higher than Spitfire-2; Largest oil column at the field; On production at approximately 700 barrels of oil per day (bopd)
  • Spitfire-6
    • Well details: Type – Development; Total depth – 5,990 feet (1,826 meters); Location – 1,476 feet (450 meters) north east of Spitfire-2
    • Net Pay: 29.2 feet (8.9 meters)
    • Results: Encountered high quality sands with porosity and thickness well above the other Spitfire wells drilled to date; Tested at 1,600 bopd; To be placed on Initial Production Test this week
  • Spitfire-3
    • Well details: Type – Appraisal; Total depth – 6,594 feet (2,010 meters); Location – 2,723 feet (830 meters) north east of Spitfire-2
    • Net Pay: 20.01 feet (6.1 meters)
    • Results: Intersected sand quality and thickness slightly better than Spitfire-2; Confirmed the northern continuity of the sands; Scheduled to be placed on production in late May
  • Spitfire-5
    • Well details: Type – Development; Total depth – 6,053 feet (1,845 meters); Location – 1,443 feet (440 meters) north east of Spitfire-2
    • Net Pay: 23.62 feet (7.2 meters)
    • Results: Marginally poorer sands intersected than at Spitfire-2; Scheduled to be placed on production in June

The four recent Spitfire appraisal and development wells were drilled on the basis of ‘AVO/Inversion’ enhanced seismic interpretation techniques with the reprocessed Mollichuta 3D seismic survey.

The program has confirmed the use of this technique for exploring and developing the Birkhead reservoir. The inversion data has yielded a significant improvement in targeting the most prolific sands and extending the known range of the accumulation outside previously established areas.

Senex will now reprocess part of the adjacent Aquillus 3D seismic survey using the same techniques. This will improve understanding of the western extent of the Spitfire field to enable further exploration and appraisal wells to be identified in the west and to the north.


Four wells have been cased and suspended as future Birkhead producers at Spitfire oil field since January 2014, with initial production testing providing positive results to date.


Spitfire-4 was placed on production in April and is currently contributing approximately 700 bopd. Spitfire-6 will be placed on an Initial Production Test this week, after flowing at 1,600 bopd during a 12-hour test. Spitfire-3 and Spitfire-5 are expected to be placed on production in the coming weeks.

The four wells were designed to test the extent of the Birkhead reservoir encountered by previous Spitfire wells and act as additional drainage points. Confidence has increased in the continuity of the Birkhead reservoir with testing confirming connectivity across the Spitfire wells and some connection between the Spitfire and Growler oil fields noted through underlying aquifer pressure.


Results to date have exceeded expectations and further drilling to the west will be required to fully test the extent of the field.

Managing Director and CEO Ian Davies said that the results highlight the benefit of using new technologies in seismic analysis.

“The success of recent drilling and extension of the Spitfire oil field demonstrates that applying the latest seismic interpretation techniques and solid technical process will deliver results.

“We are excited at the prospect of applying these new techniques to our broader oil portfolio to continue delivering strong results,” he said.


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