Junior oil & gas explorer Fremont Petroleum (ASX:FPL) is hoping to strike more oil at its Pathfinder Field prospect in Colorado.

Fremont says it’s identified nine “high value” targets from a 3D seismic survey at the site which covered 1,200 acres.

Permits have been lodged for the first three wells, and the company plans to commence drilling at two of those before the end of the year.

Shares in Fremont ticked higher to 0.85c following the update.

It’s good to be shallow

Fremont said the current drilling campaign will take place in the Pierre shale formation. The company is targeting a depth of around 4,000 feet, which is shallower than the 6,000 drill-depth required at its previous campaign in the Niobrara formation.

That’s good on two fronts; it’s cheaper and quicker. “As well, the Pierre formation is naturally fractured so well stimulation is not required,” the company said.

Fremont geologist Vanessa Lintz said the three target-wells also had the same “seismic signatures” as some of the largest-producing wells in the Florence oil field, including one that had produced more than 1 million barrels.

Lintz previously helped deliver 21 wells in the Pierre formation for Pine Ridge Oil and Gas LLC between 2008 and 2011.

The Fremont targets are “comparable, if not better, than some of the best producers we delivered for Pine Ridge and subsequently for Fremont. It clearly demonstrates that this field is vastly under-explored”, Lintz said.

Managing director Tim Hart said the drilling program gave Fremont an opportunity to establish a second near-term revenue stream, as it waited for production permits for its existing well operations.

The company expects to bring its Amerigo Vespucci well online by next month.

“We have been waiting on the necessary production permit and we will update shareholders when the well is on pump and producing,” Hart said.


In other ASX energy news today:

Oil & gas play Buru Energy (ASX:BRU) provided another update on its operations at the Ungani Oilfield east of Broome, in which it holds a 50 per cent interest. The company said advancements have been made at both of its wells — Miani 1 and Ungani 7H — and that it found elevated readings for oil & gas at Miani.

“The significance of these hydrocarbon indications will be assessed once logging operations are completed,” the company said. Shares in BRU were unchanged at 22.5c.

Paladin Energy (ASX:PDN) announced a new board appointment, with Cliff Lawrenson joining the company as a non-executive chairman. Previously, Lawrenson has held a number of executive roles at ASX-listed companies, including at Atlas Iron which was subsequently taken over by Redstone Corporation, a subsidiary of Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting.