Santos has failed to conclude a farm out of a participating interest in WA-488-P, the permit containing Melbana Energy Limited’s Beehive prospect, offshore northern Australia in the Bonaparte Gulf region. Santos’ deadline to do so was 4 March 2020.
Santos’ option to acquire an 80 per cent interest in the WA-488-P, in return for agreeing to fund the drilling of one exploration well in the permit, has therefore expired. Santos has no further interest in or obligation to the permit and Melbana now has a 100 per cent interest.
Melbana is in discussions with potential partners to join it in drilling an exploration well in the Beehive prospect. This process is greatly assisted by the high quality 3D seismic survey undertaken in 2018 by Total and Santos and the significant preparatory work that has been completed to date.
Should Melbana be successful in attracting new partners to assist it with the drilling of an exploration well in the Beehive prospect, it intends to seek an extension to its obligation to drill an exploration well by December this year to align with expected rig availability in 2021.
Melbana has also commenced work on reassessing its volumetric assessment of the prospective resource in the Beehive prospect and its interpretation of other possible plays in the WA-488-P area using the newly acquired 3D seismic survey.
Beehive is located close to several existing facilities, including the Ichthys LNG Project and Blacktip field in the Bonaparte Gulf. It covers 4,074 km2 and has been defined as one of the largest undrilled hydrocarbon prospects in Australia.