Statoil will from 1 September 2013 be the operator for the four exploration permits (EP, 103, 104, 127, 128) in the South Georgina Basin in Australia's Northern Territory through a joint venture project with PetroFrontier Corporation.
This is an early entry at scale into over 14 million acres of an immature, but potentially highly prospective play that will be de-risked over the coming years.
We will shoot 2D seismic during 2013 and drill up to six wells in 2014, at which point we will decide whether to continue the exploration.
We will carry PetroFrontier 100% during the initial exploration phase, which is capped at USD 50 million.
Statoil has a 30% equity share of four BP operated exploration licences offshore South Australia. The licences (EPP 37, 38, 39 and 40) are located in the frontier Ceduna Sub Basin within the Great Australian Bight, off the coast of South Australia, and cover more than 24,000 square kilometres of acreage.
BP has completed a 12,000 square-kilometre 3D seismic survey in the licence area. Next steps include maturation of drillable prospects and continued environmental studies. The work programme includes drilling up to four wells within the largely untested licence area. BP will continue to operate the exploration licences.
The transaction is subject to Australian governmental approval.