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  • The Canning Basin is the eighth-largest undeveloped gas reservoir in the world and is well-positioned for projects to deliver low-cost, reliable natural gas domestically and abroad
  • Black Mountain Energy (BME) has been given crucial environmental approvals and will now conduct critical 2D seismic surveys of its Valhalla tenements
  • Valhalla contains an enormous 11.8 trillion cubic feet (TcF) of prospective gas
  • This year’s Federal Budget has flagged gas production as pivotal to the security of Australia’s energy mix
  • Shares in Black Mountain Energy were down 3.85 per cent to $0.12 as of 1:32 pm AEST

All eyes are on Black Mountain Energy (BME) after it recently secured crucial and often hard-to-obtain environmental approvals for seismic surveys at its Valhalla gas project in the Canning Basin in northern Western Australia.

Independent estimates have found that Valhalla contains a whopping 1.8 trillion cubic feet (TcF) of prospective gas — and the timing couldn’t be better for development, as gas levels domestically and abroad remain significantly low.

With the 2022-23 Federal Budget confirming gas as central to the economy, emissions reduction targets and the secure supply of energy, the long-term outlook for unconventional gas developers like Black Mountain looks brighter than ever.

Experts in unconventional

Driven by Black Mountain founder and executive chairman Rhett Bennett, the development of Valhalla will be underpinned by his and his team’s wealth of expertise in unconventional gas projects.

Since 2007, Mr Bennett’s Black Mountain companies have drilled more than 3000 wells and supervised the production and analysis of an additional 19,600 across nine states, culminating in more than US$25 billion (A$33 billion) worth of derived value for the industry.

Mr Bennett is also no stranger to Australian resources operations, as his company Black Mountain Metals already has a presence in Perth, making the transition to unconventional gas plays all that much easier. 

Mr Bennett believes Valhalla is an important first step in getting a foothold in the Australian oil and gas sector and that the Canning Basin has the right mix of geological, transport and market exposure to increase production value. 

“We’ve been quite intrigued into what oil and gas in Australia has to offer and the Canning Basin jumped out to us as a region that met all our criteria as a large-scale resource play,” Mr Bennett said.

“We’re very eager to advance Valhalla into commerciality as soon as possible.”

Black Mountain senior advisor Ashley Zumwalt-Forbes said the company was well-prepared to conduct 2D seismic surveys of the area as the first step towards production.

“If it’s unconventional, we’ve seen it, we’ve done it and climbed those learning curves already and are confident in our ability to see this project through,” she said.

Helping drive Valhalla, Ms Zumwalt-Forbes is seen as one of the brightest rising stars in the North American natural resources sector.

A Forbes Magazine 30 under 30 winner and petrochemical engineer by trade, Ms Zumwalt-Forbes has spent the last decade acquiring, financing and developing both greenfield and brownfield resources projects across the world and has a knack for expediting projects into production at breakneck speed.

“The great thing about our tenements in the basin is that the question is not if the resource is present, but how and when this tremendous gas resource will get to market,” Ms Zumwalt-Forbes said.

Shares in Black Mountain Energy were down 3.85 per cent to $0.12 as of 1:32 pm AEST.

BME by the numbers

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