Santos becomes operator of four licenses off Australia

Location of permits/Image courtesy of Santos


Australian LNG player Santos and Beach Energy have become 50/50 joint venture partners across four exploration permits in the Bonaparte Basin offshore Northern Australia.

Santos said on Monday that it reached an agreement with Beach Energy to become JV partners on the NT/P82, NT/P85, NT/P84, and WA-454-P permits. Santos will operate all four permits.

Permits NT/P82 and NT/P85 are located immediately to the south of the Barossa project area, where Santos acquired the 4,347 km2 Bethany 3D seismic survey in 2018.

NT/P84 and WA-454-P are proximal to the Petrel/Tern/Frigate field complex in the Petrel sub-basin, where separate agreements with Neptune Energy see Santos move to 100 percent operated interest in the Tern and Frigate fields and a 40.25 percent interest in the Petrel field, subject to customary approvals.

Santos managing director and CEO Kevin Gallagher said, “The next step for these permits is to evaluate new and existing seismic data to build inventory and define potential targets for drilling within the next few years.

“Permits NT/P82 and NT/P85, which are located immediately south of our Barossa project, will be a key focus for this work.

Santos’ position in the Bonaparte Basin already includes an 11.5 percent interest in the BayuUndan gas-condensate field and the Darwin LNG plant, as well as a 25 percent interest in the Barossa field, which is currently in front end engineering and design and is the leading candidate to backfill Darwin LNG.

Santos also holds 100 percent of WA-459-P and has an option to acquire a 40 percent operated interest of WA-488-P, where processing of a new 3D seismic survey over the large Beehive prospect is nearing completion.

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