Seismic player Polarcus has been awarded a contract to undertake a 3D seismic survey over the Beehive prospect located off Australia.
The Beehive prospect is located in the WA-488-P permit operated by Melbana Energy, formerly known as MEO Australia, with a 100% interest.
The Beehive 3D survey is being operated by Australian energy company Santos pursuant to an operations services agreement and is fully funded by Total and Santos.
Melbana said on Friday that the Beehive survey is expected to begin in July and to be completed before the end of August 2018. The survey is a typical 3D survey using methods and procedures similar to others conducted in Australian waters.
The survey acquisition area is approximately 600 km2 with a larger operational area around it to allow for vessel turns and testing of equipment. The operational area is located in the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf, approximately 225 km west-southwest from Darwin.
Melbana added that the acquisition of a new 3D seismic survey over Beehive would provide the potential for further de-risking of the prospect and would facilitate consideration of a preferred location for the Beehive-1 exploration well.
Melbana’s CEO, Robert Zammit, said: “We are pleased that Polarcus has been awarded the contract to acquire the Beehive 3D seismic and look forward to completion of the survey and reviewing the new information the 3D survey will provide.”
It is worth stating that Total and Santos have an option, which is exercisable together or individually, to acquire a direct 80 percent participating interest in the permit in return for fully funding the costs of all activities until completion of the first well in the WA-488-P permit.
In the event of a commercial discovery, Melbana will repay carried funding from its share of cash flow from the Beehive field. Melbana will have no re-payment obligations for such carried funding in the event there is no commercial discovery and development in WA-488-P.
According to Melbana, the Beehive prospect is potentially the largest undrilled hydrocarbon prospect in Australia. It is a Carboniferous age 180km2 isolated carbonate build up with 400m of mapped vertical relief, analogous to the giant Tengiz field in the Caspian Basin. It is located in 40m water depth suitable for a jack-up rig, about 75km offshore and developable by either FPSO or pipeline to existing infrastructure. This play type is new and undrilled in the Bonaparte Basin with no wells having been drilled to this depth in the basin.
Beehive is located close to several existing facilities including Ichthys project and Blacktip field and pipeline offering several options for future gas monetization.