Statoil has from 1 September 2013 been 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 acquired 2D seismic during 2013 and will drill around five wells in 2014.

Offshore exploration licences 

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.

Offshore operatorship

In October Statoil awarded 100% equity share in a large exploration permit located in the prolific Northern Carnarvon Basin on the Northwest shelf of Australia.

The permit WA-506-P covers an area of more than 13,000 square kilometres, situated 300 kilometres off Western Australia in water depths of 1,500-2,000 metres.  The permit has been awarded to Statoil by the National Offshore Petroleum Titles Administrator (NOPTA) through the 2013 Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release.

Statoil has committed to collect 2,000 line kilometres of 2D seismic and 3,500 square kilometres of 3D seismic data within three years.  Based on analysis of this information, Statoil will decide on further steps.