Statoil Great Australian Bight exploration program revised Martin Kovacs, 9 Jun 2017

Statoil has advised that it has signed a swap agreement with BP covering four offshore petroleum titles, with it having been granted regulatory approval to take over two exploration permits and extend its work program in the Great Australian Bight.

The agreement sees Statoil transfer its 30% equity interest in EPP 37 and EPP 38, exiting the licences, while in EPP 39 and EPP 40 BP has transferred its 70% equity interest to Statoil and exited the licences, with Statoil consequently holding 100% equity interest, Statoil advised, with the National Offshore Petroleum Titles Administrator having approved the transfers.

Statoil stated that it has also been granted a suspension and extension of the work commitments in EPP 39 and EPP 40, with the approved extension including the drilling of one exploration well in EPP 39 before October 30, 2019.

“We are very pleased to have reached these agreements and found a way forward for our exploration project in the Bight,” Pål Haremo, Statoil Vice President of Exploration in Australasia, commented.

“With this transaction, we have strengthened our position in this promising, unproven basin with a large exploration upside. This is in line with Statoil’s global exploration strategy of accessing at scale and targeting high-impact opportunities.

“We have a good understanding of the geology in our licence area, based on high-quality 3D data analysis. We believe there could be an active petroleum system within our permit area and we are now positioned to test this potential under favourable market conditions for exploration drilling.”

Statoil advised that it has mapped a number of prospects, including the Stromlo-1 well candidate in EPP 39, which it stated “offers high-impact potential in a frontier exploration setting”, with EPP 40 representing “upside exploration potential”.

“We will now take the necessary time to systematically work through all the preparations needed to drill safely,” Jacques-Etienne Michel, Statoil Country Manager in Australia, commented. “While we are building on the previous work done in these licences, our operational plans will have to be redeveloped.

“In the end, it will be up to the Australian regulatory authorities to grant the necessary approvals for the activity to go ahead. Over the coming months, we will engage in dialogue with a wide range of stakeholders, including the South Australian community.”

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