Melbourne-based Melbana Energy Ltd (ASX: MAY) has awarded a 3D seismic survey for the Beehive offshore prospect in Western Australia’s north-west to Polarcus.
The company said Beehive is one of the largest undrilled hydrocarbon structures in Australia.
The survey will be operated by Australian energy company Santos Ltd as part of an operational agreement that will be fully funded by Santos and French oil major Total.
The survey should start in July and be completed by the end of August.
Melbana said the survey acquisition area is about 600 square kilometres, with a larger operational area around it to allow for vessel turns and testing of equipment. The operational area is in the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf, about 225 km west-southwest from Darwin.
Total and Santos have an option - exerciseable together or individually - to acquire a direct 80% participating interest in the permit in return for fully funding the costs of all activities until completion of the first well in the WA-488-P permit.
In the event of a commercial discovery, Melbana will repay carried funding from its share of cash flow from the Beehive field.
Melbana is a 30% partner in the Puka field in the onshore Taranaki in partnership with Canadian-listed TAG Oil Ltd. The joint venture made a gas discovery with their recent Pukatea-1 well which is seen as a catalyst for reopening the Puka field.