WA-320-P and WA-155-P (Part II) are exploration permits in the offshore Carnarvon Basin, Western Australia. The Palmerston prospect straddles both WA-320-P and WA-155-P (Part II). Palmerston is a Triassic fault block with structural similarity to the Zola structure. The Palmerston-1 well will target sandstones in the proven Mungaroo Formation play and will satisfy the Year 3 well commitment.
During the first half of 2013, Tap farmed out a portion of its interest in both permits to JX Nippon Oil and Gas Exploration (Australia) Pty Ltd. Tap farmed out 10% of its interest in WA-320-P and 7% of its interest in WA-155-P (Part II) in exchange for a 5% carry on the Palmerston-1 well (up to a total well cost of US$70 million). Tap retains a 9.778% equity in WA-320-P and 6.555% equity in WA-155-P (Part II). The farmout has been approved and registered by the government..
Production License WA-8-L is situated within the north eastern part of the Dampier Sub-Basin of the Northern Carnarvon Basin. The permit was awarded in 1988 for a period of 21 years during which time the Talisman Field has been developed. The Talisman Field was abandoned in 1992, since then there has been no further production in the permit. The Amulet oil Field was discovered within the permit in May 2006 with the drilling of wells Amulet -1, 2 and 3.
The TL/2 production license and TP/7 exploration permit are located in shallow water in the offshore Carnarvon Basin approximately 40 kilometres north-northeast of Onslow, Western Australia.
The Taunton oil field was discovered in 1991 and straddles the TL/2 and TP/7 permit boundaries. It was subsequently appraised by four additional wells which encountered oil in the Birdrong Sandstone.
Approval has been granted for variation of the TP/7 Year 3-5 work program (July 2014 – July 2017) to substitute the 3D seismic acquisition and well commitment with geotechnical studies. Studies on the Taunton oil field are progressing ahead of assessment of development options for the field.
On 24 April 2012, Tap entered into a binding agreement with Rusa Resources Pty Ltd (Rusa) to participate in the initial exploration of a large acreage position in the onshore Carnarvon Basin, Western Australia via a negotiated acreage option. The exploration focus is primarily on unconventional plays, with the main targets being Permian shale gas and Devonian shale oil. There is also conventional oil and gas potential.
Tap’s exposure was limited to assisting Rusa financially to secure two special prospecting authorities (SPAs) and on award to fund a reconnaissance surface geochemical survey. Each SPA carried an option to convert a percentage of the SPA area into exploration permits. Tap has earned the right to take a 20% interest in the resulting exploration permits on election, with an option to earn an additional 15% in each permit once granted.
Rusa’s application for exploration permits over a portion of the acreage covered by the SPAs was accepted and granted during 2013, subject to finalisation of native title process. Tap is assessing if it will exercise its option and further participate in the permits.