ADX Energy has secured environmental clearance to drill the Welchau Gas Prospect in the ADX-AT-II licence in upper Austria.

The approval from the Department of Nature Protection of the State Government of Upper Austria (Department) marks the last regulatory permit needed for the company to commence drilling work on the Welchau-1 prospect.

The company plans to begin drill-site construction as soon as possible with Welchau-1 drilling operations scheduled to start during January 2024.

ADX executive chairman Ian Tchacos said: “The drilling of Welchau comes at a time when Russian gas still supplies over 50% of Austria’s gas requirements but is now officially threatened to be cut off in 2024.

“The Welchau exploration project is an exceptional domestic energy supply and economic growth opportunity for the State of Austria. ADX and our partner MCF are committed to responsible gas exploration.”

ADX Energy’s technical prospective resources estimate suggest that the Welchau gas prospect has 807 billion cubic feet of gas equivalent.

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By GlobalData

In a press statement, ADX said: “The Welchau gas prospect has exceptional gas resource potential, located in the heart of Europe at a relatively shallow drill depth and proximal to gas pipelines.”

The well is schedule to be drilled using the RED Drilling & Services’ (RED) E202 drilling rig, which is currently being used for Anshof-2 well drilling work.

MCF Energy has agreed to pay 50% of the Welchau-1 well’s expenses in exchange for a 20% stake in the Welchau Investment Area. ADX Energy owns the remaining 80% stake.

The Welchau Investment Area comprises the Welchau Gas Prospect and other emerging gas prospects in the ADX-AT-II licence.

In August 2023, ADX secured drilling a permit from the local mining authority on behalf of the Republic of Austria’s Ministry of Finance for the Welchau Gas Prospect.