MELBOURNE, Australia – Santos has conditionally exercised an option to acquire an 80% interest in the WA-488-P permit in the Petrel sub-basin offshore northwest Australia containing the Beehive prospect.
Current license holder Melbana Energy has approved the transfer, the terms of which include Santos funding 100% of the cost of the Beehive-1 exploration well.
Santos is in farm-out discussions with various other parties on participation in the well after Total decided recently to withdraw from the arrangement.
Enquiries concerning rig availability suggests drilling might not be able to start prior to the end of the current permit year (December 2020). So Melbana has agreed to give Santos until March 4, 2020 to complete a farm-down in order to secure the 80% interest.
The two companies would then seek an extension to the current permit year.
Santos has also agreed to fund an application for an environmental permit for Beehive-1.