Australian oil and gas explorer Neon Energy has been awarded the WA-503-P petroleum exploration permit with a six-year term located offshore Western Australia.
Under the terms of the agreement, the initial three-year primary term includes a work commitment to licence 80km² of new "Broadband" 3D seismic data and complete various geological and geophysical studies, while the company anticipates acquiring the new seismic data by early 2015.
The next three-year term is optional and includes an associated commitment to drill one exploration well.
Having successfully bid in the 2013 Australian Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Gazettal, the company is confident that the application of new technology, particularly Broadband 3D seismic, will generate renewed exploration interest in the area.
The emerging Broadband 3D seismic technology enables the recording of a much wider range of seismic frequencies than traditional 3D seismic, resulting in a high-resolution dataset that can be accurately correlated to regional well data and geology.
This will help the company to obtain detailed mapping of subtle structural and complex stratigraphic features not readily identifiable on conventional 3D seismic data.
Neon holds 100% working interest and operates the WA-503-P block, which is within the Dampier sub-basin, inboard of the giant north-west shelf gas field complex and on trend with numerous oil and gas discoveries, including the Legendre and Hurricane fields.
The block’s water depth ranges from 50m to 70m, which is within the depth capability of jack-up drilling rigs.
Until today, the Janus-1 and Hoss-1 wells have been drilled within WA-503-P, where Janus-1 confirmed the presence of a working oil system within the block having discovered a 4m oil column, while Hoss-1, located immediately to the north-east of the block, encountered encouraging oil shows.
The WA-503-P will be primarily focused on the hydrocarbon potential of Lower Cretaceous to Upper Jurassic basin margin fan deposits within the oil-rich Legendre Trend, situated along the eastern flank of the Lewis Trough.
The decommissioned Legendre field, which is located around 20km to the north-east, produced more than 40 million barrels of oil from excellent quality reservoirs that yielded a superior oil recovery rate of more than 50%.
Neon Energy managing director Ken Charsinsky said: "We are pleased to have acquired the company’s first exploration permit in Australia, which is the result of an expanded new ventures effort that commenced in mid-2013.
"We look forward to exploring this exciting new block, and to bringing additional quality assets to Neon’s portfolio in due course."
Image: Block WA-503-P location map. Photo: courtesy of Neon Energy Ltd.