Karoon Gas has been awarded an offshore exploration permit EPP46 in the frontier Ceduna Sub-Basin in the Great Australian Bight (GAB) off South Australia.

The permit covers 17,793km² of Australia’s active and prospective frontier oil exploration province. GAB holds underexplored Cretaceous basins, which contain the Ceduna Sub-Basin that hosts a massive Cretaceous delta system.

Initially for a period of three years, Karoon will acquire 2D and 3D seismic surveys over the permit area, and perform targeted 3D seismic survey and geotechnical studies.

“Around 40,000km² of 3D seismic survey data has been acquired since 2011.”

The Ceduna Sub-Basin has a thick sedimentary succession with multiple structural and stratigraphic stacked play types.

So far, only four wells have been drilled in this basin, and complete drilling was focused in the shallower, flanking depocentres in shallower waters near the basin margin.

All wells were drilled on 2D seismic data, with around 40,000km² of 3D seismic survey data having been acquired since 2011.

Karoon said that the competitive bid-round process for the permit EPP46 closed during April this year.

The indicative value for the proposals on the surrounding nine exploration permits is A$1.2bn ($910.9m), or an average of $12,876 per square kilometre.

Over the coming 24 months, the company is planning to acquire about 40,000km² of 3D seismic survey and drill nine exploration wells. These work programmes are expected to significantly de-risk Karoon’s permit.