Shell Development (Australia) Pty. Ltd. will earn a 50% interest in and become operator of the AC/P 52 permit in the northern Browse basin offshore Western Australia under a farmout from Finder Exploration Pty. Ltd., private Perth independent.
Shell will earn its interest through cash payments and funding a percentage of drilling costs of the Cronus-1 exploratory well up to an agreed cap. Shell is to drill the well in 2015.
Cronus, north of and along trend with Poseidon, Ichthys, and Prelude gas fields, is a multi-tcf gas prospect that was matured using the Cartier West multiclient 3D seismic data set. Finder said it sees multiple potential routes to commercialization if Cronus were successful.
Assuming receipt of various government approvals, AC/P 52 permit interests would be Shell 50%, Sasol Australia Petroleum Ltd. 30%, and Finder 20%.