Bounty Oil and Gas NL, Sydney, has acquired a 25% interest in four shallow water exploration permits in the Carnarvon basin of Western Australia from Coastal Oil and Gas Pty Ltd., Perth.
The binding farm-in agreement includes inshore permits EP475, EP490, EP491, and TP27 (the Cerberus permits).
Bounty will pay $6 million (Aus.) towards the costs of drilling three exploration wells. The company also will have options during the next 6 months to earn two 25% tranches for additional participating interests by contributing $9 million (Aus.) and $12 million (Aus.), respectively, towards the drilling program.
Drilling will be jointly operated by Bounty and Coastal.
The primary prospects are stratigraphic plays that present as look-alikes to the Santos-Carnarvon Petroleum JV’s Dorado, Phoenix South, and Roc oil discoveries in deeper water further offshore in the Bedout subbasin.
Bounty will focus on two prospects in EP 491 (Honeybadger and Parrot), one in EP 475 (Stork), and one in EP 490 (Gallant). Mean prospective resources are 294 million bbl, 105 million bbl, 228 million bbl, and 44 million bbl, respectively.
Target reservoirs for Honeybadger, Parrot, and Stork are of Triassic age, while Gallant has a Cretaceous age target.
The companies have issued an expression of interest to the rig market to assess the possibilities of timing and cost of the program with current estimated costs of US$20-$30 million total for the three wells.
Water depth at the permits, which lie to the east of Santos’ Varanus Island fields and south of Jadestone’s Stag oil field, is 25-50 m.
A further eight prospects in the permits have been identified and could be explored if there is success in the initial drilling program, the company said.