More exploration permits awarded offshore Western Australia

Two more exploration permit awards have been made offshore Western Australia in the continuing acreage release program.

Latest recipients are a joint venture of Inpex and Santos in the Browse basin and sole titleholder Neon Energy in the Dampier sub-basin. These follow an award to AWE last month in the Exmouth sub-basin.

Inpex and Santos have been awarded WA-502-P, about 60 km northwest of Inpex’s Ichthys gas-condensate field. The block lies in 400-500 m of water about 475 km from Broome and covers an area of 580 sq km.

The award to Inpex is in line with the company’s strategy of gathering permits close to Ichthys to maximize the potential and longevity of the development project. Even so, Inpex has elected to take a 40% interest in the WA-502-P JV, leaving Santos with 60% and operatorship.

Neon Energy was awarded WA-503-P, taking on the task of operator and 100% ownership at this initial stage. Neon will acquire 80 sq km of 3D seismic by early 2015.

The primary exploration focus will be the Lower Cretaceous-Upper Jurassic basin margin fan deposits within the oil-rich Legendre trend. The company has already identified four leads based on existing 3D data.

The permit lies midway between and on trend with the Legendre oil field 30 km to the northeast and the Caribou gas field 30 km southwest.

AWE in April was awarded exploration permit WA-497-P immediately adjacent to the producing Pyrenees, Vincent and Coniston oil fields and north of the Macedon gas field.

The permit covers an area of 560 sq km in 150-500 m of water.

AWE has 100% and is operator. The company will begin with a permit-wide 3D seismic survey to evaluate a number of what it sees as interesting prospects and leads.

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