Warrego rings the changes as Perth Basin ramp-up gets serious
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Special Report: Warrego Energy has pulled off a significant recruiting coup as it ramps up commercialisation activities associated with the development of the newly discovered West Erregulla gas field in the Perth Basin.
Warrego (ASX: WGO), which is a 50:50 partner with Strike Energy in West Erregulla, announced on Monday it had appointed gas marketing guru Cathy McKeagney as general manager commercial.
McKeagney joins the company from Mitsui and prior to that AWE Limited, where she gained a unique insight into marketing Perth Basin gas.
AWE was taken over by Mitsui for $600 million in 2018 after discovering the Waitsia gas field in the Perth Basin in 2014. At the time, Waitsia was the largest onshore gas discovery in Australia for 40 years.
“Cathy’s role will be pivotal in developing the company’s gas marketing strategy and overseeing commercial matters associated with the West Erregulla development,” Warrego said.
“She will also act as the focal point to coordinate the services and contracts to supply Warrego’s gas to the market from wellhead to end-user.”
McKeagney will start with Warrego on 1 February and be based out of the company’s new Perth office.
Her appointment is among a number of key organisational changes to be made as Warrego gears up to move into the development phase at West Erregulla.
These include the relocation of managing director Dennis Donald from the United Kingdom to Australia and the retirement of CEO Australia and Asia-Pacific David Casey from the company.
Casey was managing director of Petrel Energy, the vehicle through which Warrego listed on the ASX last year via a Reverse Takeover, before taking on the role with the newly public company.
He acted as Warrego’s technical representative during the drilling of the West Erregulla -2 well, the deepest and one of the most successful onshore gas wells completed in Western Australia.
Warrego will look to appoint a new operational country manager to replace Casey over the next few months.
In November, Strike, which is the operator of the West Erregulla joint venture, estimated a 2C contingent resource of 1,185 BCF (gross) for the Kingia and High Cliff formations at West Erregulla, making it larger than Waitsia.
The discovery has helped transform the Perth Basin into what is likely to become the country’s largest onshore gas production hub, overtaking the Cooper Basin in central Australia.
Observers have noted that the Perth Basin is not far off having sufficient gas to underpin the development of an LNG export plant in the region, which could be a future home for West Erregulla gas.
The project could also help to fill the forecast domestic supply gap as North West Shelf production declines, while other options include selling into long-term domestic contracts and supplying mine sites or industrial customers.
Warrego shares were unchanged at 19.5c in afternoon trade on Monday, valuing the company at almost $140 million.
It is still a significantly cheaper exposure to West Erregulla than Strike, which is valued at just over $300 million.