PetroChina buys interest in ConocoPhillps Australian permits

PetroChina has signed an agreement with ConocoPhillips to take working interests in two permits in which ConocoPhillips is a participant in Western Australia: one offshore and one onshore. A parallel agreement is for the two companies to establish a joint study agreement (JSA) for unconventional resource development in China’s Sichuan basin.

The first Australian deal involves PetroChina in a 20% farm-in to ConocoPhillips’ interest in the Greater Poseidon gas fields in the Browse basin while the second involves a 29% farm-in to the Goldwyer shale gas exploration project in the onshore Canning basin.

ConocoPhillips is operator of the Browse permits WA-314-P and 315-P—held jointly with Melbourne-based Karoon Gas Australia—which contain the Poseidon, Kronos, and Boreas gas discoveries. These have an estimated contingent resource of 7 tcf of gas on a P50 basis.

The group is currently evaluating the region with further drilling at Zephyros-1 to be followed by Proteus-1. Another two wells are planned in the program, but have yet to be named.

The Goldwyer project is an evaluation of Perth-based New Standard Energy Ltd.’s shale gas acreage covering 37,000 sq km where ConocoPhillips has committed $109.5 million to earn as much as 75% in the play by funding four phases in the exploration program.

The JSA deal is specifically targeting unconventional resource reserves in the Neijiang-Dazu block in the Sichuan basin, which has an area of about 500,000 acres. If the study finds the resource is technically feasible and commercially viable to extract, the two companies will move forward to a development phase under a production-sharing contract that would be agreed upon during the study period.

Both agreements still require respective government and partner approvals.

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