Perth, Western Australia-based Golden State Resources has received further verification it could be holding a significant shale gas play in the Golden Eagle field in Grand County in southeast Utah. The economics look good, according to a recent petroleum engineering consultant’s study.

AWT International, also based in Western Australia, recently completed a study that found Golden Eagle looks economically sound based on the shale gas that has intersected with traditional production wells in the field. It is part of the Paradox Basin, which includes some 171 oil and gas fields that have produced 500 million bbl of oil and 3.5 Tcf of gas, valued at current prices at more than $57 billion so far.

As part of its report, AWT reiterated that Stone Energy had flowed 800 b/d of oil from the Cane Creek shale about 40 kilometers south of Golden Eagle. Traditional vertical wells on other prominent shale fields in the area have demonstrated similar characteristics to the Golden Eagle field, industry officials have noted. Horizontal wells on these surrounding wells reportedly are producing what were described as “excellent results.”

Golden State said it has moved to secure its call on the Golden Eagle gas field until 2017, following its invitation by the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to extend its Golden Eagle leases.

While three previously drilled conventional wells by Golden State are currently all shut in, the company also plans to extend some individual leases to 2019, allowing the company time to line up potential joint venture partners. Eventually the three traditional wells now shut in could be considered for fracture stimulation and side-tracking.

The Golden Eagle prospect has been described by some in the industry as a “geological look-alike” to the largest fields in the Paradox Basin, such as the Lisbon and Greater Aneth fields. They run along the same north-south producing trend plain.

One of Golden State’s three traditional wells has been dubbed the most significant new well in the Paradox Basin; another will be drilled deeper after more site work is completed; and the third is designated an “appraisal/design” well. It is designed to test the commercial viability, comparing it to two basins, Ismay and Desert Creek.