France’s Total and Australia’s Santos have entered a deal with Melbana Energy to fund a seismic survey over the Beehive prospect offshore northern Australia in exchange for the option of acquiring an 80 percent interest.
Melbana’s Beehive prospect in the WA-488-P licence, which sits in the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf off the coast of the Northern Territory, is one of the biggest, undrilled hydrocarbon structures in Australia.
WA-488-P is located adjacent to Blacktip production infrastructure and within reach of Ichthys infrastructure, “providing good potential pathways for early commercialisation of any discovery,” Santos said in a statement.
Planning for a 3D seismic survey has already started, with acquisition expected to begin mid- 2018.
“This option adds to our diverse portfolio of core production, appraisal and exploration assets in Northern Australia, including our foundation interest in Darwin LNG and the Barossa field which is the leading candidate to backfill Darwin LNG as Bayu-Undan comes off plateau in the next few years,” Santos Executive Vice President Exploration & Appraisal Bill Ovenden said.