Tap Oil reaches settlement with Apache

Tap Oil and Quadrant Northwest (formerly Apache Northwest) have reached a settlement in a financial dispute regarding a licence in the Carnarvon Basin, offshore Australia. 

Tap Oil has reached a settlement with Quadrant Northwest on the basis that Apache’s claim against Tap is dismissed with Apache paying Tap costs of A$50,000 ($36,190), Tap said on Wednesday.

On September 1, 2014, Tap announced that Tap (Shelfal) Pty Ltd was named as a party to a writ from Apache. The Apache claim was for US$4.154 million plus interest and costs.

The claim was for the repayment of a portion of the moneys paid to Tap by BHP Billiton Petroleum (North West Shelf) Pty Ltd under a farm-in agreement entered into in June 2011 between Tap and BHP Billiton, under which Tap sold to BHP Billiton a 25% interest in the WA-351-P permit in the offshore Carnarvon Basin.

The farm-in agreement resulted from BHP Billiton’s decision to pre-empt a transaction on the same terms and conditions between Tap and Japan Australia LNG (MIMI) Pty Ltd back in 2011. With that agreement, BHP Billiton exercised its right, as a partner in the joint venture with Tap, to acquire the 25% interest in WA-351-P.

According to Tap, BHP Billiton subsequently assigned to Apache a portion of its interest in WA-351-P.

“It was not apparent on what basis Apache was making a claim against Tap under a farm-in agreement to which it was not a party,” Tap said.

The company also added that Apache’s claim was without merit.

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