Inpex said that its unit, Inpex Browse E&P, was awarded exploration permits for Release Areas WA-513-P and WA-514-P.
Inpex Browse will hold a 40% participating interest in the blocks while Santos, the operator, will hold a 60% participating interest, the company said in a statement.
Blocks WA-513-P and WA-514-P cover an area of 335km2 and 415km2, respectively, where the water is approximately 300~400m deep, and are located about 500km north-northeast of Broome, off the coast of the state of Western Australia.
Inpex now holds 13 exploration permits or retention leases in the vicinity of the Ichthys gas-condensate field where, as operator it is developing the giant Ichthys LNG project. Inpex said in the statement it intends to maximize the potential value of the Ichthys LNG project with the exploration of these blocks.
The blocks are situated near large gas reserves that have been discovered, including the Ichthys gas-condensate field, as well as the Prelude and Concerto gas fields. Most recently, a gas discovery was made at the Lasseter-1/ST1 exploration well in block WA-274-P, partially adjacent to WA-513-P.