Statoil has signed a farm-in agreement with BP to buy a 30% equity interest in four exploration licences offshore of South Australia.

Located in the frontier Ceduna Sub Basin, within the Great Australian Bight off the coast of South Australia, the four licenses include EPP 37, 38, 39 and 40 and cover an area of more than 24,000km² of acreage.

UK-based multinational energy company BP, which is currently finalising the processing of the data, has completed a 12,000km² 3D seismic survey.

BP will now analyse maturation of drillable prospects and continue with environmental studies, which may include drilling up to four wells within the untested license area.

The company will continue to operate the exploration licenses.

Statoil global new ventures in exploration senior vice president Pål Haremo said the agreement will give the company vast access to an underexplored area with high-impact potential.

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By GlobalData
"The four licenses include EPP 37, 38, 39 and 40 and cover an area of more than 24,000km² of acreage."

"This is in line with our strategy, supporting our long term growth ambitions by providing early access at scale in a new and promising basin, positioning us for high impact exploration," Haremo added.

Statoil said the commercial terms of the transaction are confidential and subject to approval from the Australian Government.

Earlier, the company signed a farm-in agreement with Petrofrontier for its four existing and two pending onshore exploration permits in the South Georgina Basin, in the Northern Territories of the country, as part of a joint venture project.

In January 2011, BP announced it had received four deepwater offshore blocks in the Ceduna Sub Basin within the Great Australian Bight.

BP will explore an exploration permit for petroleum areas EPP 37, EPP 38, EPP 39 and EPP 40 across an area of 24,000km² for oil and gas reserves.

Image: Great Australian Bight Marine Park. Photo courtesy of Nachoman-au.