• Austrian Science Fund to investigate industry and renewable energy applications
  • Welchau hosts prospective resource of 807 billion cubic feet of gas equivalent
  • Science project will contribute A$0.6 million of the project’s A$0.75m budget
  • ADX plans to commence drilling operations in Q4 2023


ADX Energy has welcomed news that the Austrian Science Fund (FFG) will fund A$0.6m for a major scientific project in the greater Welchau area within the ADX-AT-II licence in Upper Austria (FFG Project).

The Welchau-1 gas prospect hosts a best technical prospective resource of 807 billion cubic feet of gas equivalent, in relatively shallow reservoirs updip from the nearby Moln-1 gas discovery, that intersected a gas column of at least 400m in 1989 and flowed 3.5 million cubic feet of gas per day during testing.

The fact that this potential resource is situated at the centre of energy-demanding Europe and in close proximity to established gas pipelines makes it a rare opportunity for ADX and Austria, with one of the key objectives of the FFG fund to “transfer leading edge research into industrial applications.”

Building on leading-edge geotechnical work by ADX Energy’s (ASX:ADX) in-house geoscientists, the FFG project will investigate wider scope of possible practical industry and renewable energy applications.

The project will focus on aspects of unique overthrust structural geology at Welchau as well as the environmental sustainability implications for an energy development in the greater Welchau prospect area.

The FFG will also contribute A$0.6 million of the project’s A$0.75m budget.


Natural gas a transitional EU energy source

The advantage of holding assets in Europe for ADX stems from the fact that natural gas is regarded as an important transitional energy source by the EU which contributes to meet the EU ́s climate and energy targets for 2030 – and to reaching the objectives of the European green deal policies which aim to make the European Union climate neutral by 2050.

And the FFG project itself has a significant impact on sustainability as defined by the UN Sustainable Development Goals, especially chapter 7 which details affordable and clean energy.

“I am proud to report the science funding support and the attention of the Austrian Science Community which has been attracted to the Welchau project which is a result of the exceptionally high standard of our in-house geoscience team,” ADX CEO Paul Fink said.

“ADX will immediately benefit by a deeper understanding of the Welchau prospect as well as a number of already identified follow up prospects in the Welchau Area.

“In the longer term, the surrounding communities could benefit for many years from potential future sustainable energy applications such as geothermal energy generation and energy storage.

“The environmental sustainability element of the work is intended to demonstrate the ability to develop a major energy resource project with a minimal impact on the environment.”


A balanced approach to sustainable development

The project will be broken into two aspects, a structural geology project to mainly be conducted by leading Austrian research scientists associated with the University of Vienna, and an environmental sustainability project to be conducted by a group of experts funded by ADX.

The structural geology project will focus on contemporary methods for understanding the geological evolution of the Northern Calcareous Alps.

Additional objectives include the practical implementation of research findings into the assessment of further natural gas prospects as well as understanding the geothermal potential of the area and the use of reservoirs for large scale underground energy storage such as hydrogen.

“It is likely that future industry applications such as geothermal energy, hydrogen storage and underground energy storage will also benefit from the work,” the company said.

The environmental sustainability project will investigate best practice for sustainable development in the greater Welchau prospect area with a view to minimising environmental impact while maximising short as well as long term social and economic benefits of any potential energy development.


Welchau drill testing planned for Q4

The above-mentioned projects should lead to a deeper understanding of the gas, geothermal and energy storage potential of the area in and around Welchau, with the resulting reports to be made accessible to the scientific community, the wider community and the related government bodies of Upper Austria.

In the meantime, the company is looking to commence drilling operations in Q4 2023, after being granted the key drilling permit from the Austrian government earlier this month to not only drill and test the Welchau-1 gas exploration well but also to carry out a  longer-term production test if required.

Drilling operations are expected to commence after receipt of an environmental clearance.



This article was developed in collaboration with ADX Energy, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.


This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.