Oil and gas exploration company Melbana Energy, formerly know as MEO Australia, has farmed out a share in its Ashmore Cartier exploration permits AC/P50 and AC/P51 offshore Australia.
Melbana said on Wednesday that Rouge Rock Pty Ltd exercised its option to acquire a 45 percent interest in the AC/P50 and AC/P51 exploration permits located in the Vulcan sub-basin off the northwest coast of Australia.
As a result of the farm in, Melbana will retain a 55 percent interest in the permits, subject to a five percent back-in option held by Far Cape Pte Ltd.
The company granted the option to Rouge Rock on July 5, 2016, in exchange for a free carry for Melbana on the costs of the committed work program for the 2016-18 primary term of each of the exploration permits.
The work program includes undertaking 3D seismic broadband reprocessing, merging of the Zeppelin and Onnia 3D seismic data and interpretation and mapping of the reprocessed seismic data and a suite of additional technical work, including pre-stack depth migration of the merged seismic data sets.
According to Melbana, the indicative value of the reprocessing work undertaken by Rouge Rock is around $1.15 million.
The exercise of the farm-in by Rouge Rock follows an evaluation of the reprocessed data intended to further de-risk the identified prospects and leads, facilitating a potential further farm-out of the Permits to fund future discretionary exploration drilling.
Melbana said that the two companies would review recent drilling results in the area and integrate the results with the reprocessing work and then proceed to undertake a joint farm-out process during 2017-2018.
Peter Stickland, CEO and MD of Melbana Energy, said: “Rouge Rock has undertaken a substantial seismic reprocessing study, valued at over $1 million, through which Melbana has been free carried.
“The reprocessing has significantly improved the data quality in an area with historically poor data quality. The exercise of the options by Rouge Rock is a demonstration of the prospectivity in AC/P50 and AC/P51 and Melbana looks forward to working with Rouge Rock as we move forward to mature the identified prospects.”
The AC/P50 and AC/P51 permits are located in the Vulcan sub-basin off the North West coast of Australia, adjacent to several oil and gas discoveries. The Ramble On and Jur’maker oil prospects have been identified in a proven petroleum system defined on modern 3D seismic data in a shallow water area. The permits were renewed in 2015 for five-year term with a minimum work program of studies and seismic reprocessing in the first three years.