MEO signs up partner for Timor Sea work

MEO Australia Ltd. of Melbourne has farmed out as much as a 10% stake in its NT/P68 exploration permit in the Timor Sea to Petrofac, a UK engineering and services group.

Rick Wilkinson
OGJ Correspondent

MELBOURNE, June 7 -- MEO Australia Ltd. of Melbourne has farmed out as much as a 10% stake in its NT/P68 exploration permit in the Timor Sea to Petrofac, a UK engineering and services group.

The deal includes an option to participate in MEO's proposed nearby Tassie Shoals artificial island LNG and methanol projects, also for a 10% interest (OGJ, Mar. 6, 2006, p. 20).

Petrofac will fund 25% of the costs of a three-well drilling program on NT/P68 later this year and has an option to increase its stake to 25% of the permit by funding 37.5% of the well costs.

Petrofac would then also become operator of the permit, putting it in the management role for any subsequent appraisal of discoveries and future production facilities.

MEO noted that Petrofac has experience with fractured carbonate reservoirs similar to the Epenarra prospect reservoir that is the main target in the coming drilling program.

MEO's Tassie Shoals and methanol projects have environmental approvals but lack proven gas feedstock—a factor that the exploration-appraisal drilling in NT/P68 is designed to remedy.

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