WEST PERTH, Australia – Australia has awarded Neon Energy Ltd. (ASX: NEN) the WA-503-P offshore petroleum exploration permit, as operator and 100% working interest holder. It is the company’s first exploration permit in Australia, and is a result of Neon Energy’s expanded new ventures effort that began in mid-2013.
Block WA-503-P is awarded with a six-year term. The initial three-year primary term includes a work commitment to license 80 sq km (31 sq mi) of new broadband 3D seismic data and complete various geological and geophysical studies. Neon anticipates that the new seismic data will be acquired by early 2015. Neon believes new technology – in particular, broadband 3D seismic – will generate renewed exploration interest in the area. The secondary term is optional and includes an associated commitment to drill one exploration well.
Block WA-503-P is off Western Australia within the Dampier sub-basin, inboard of the giant Northwest Shelf gas field complex and on trend with numerous oil and gas discoveries, including the Legendre and Hurricane fields, says Neon. Water depths within the block range from 50 m to 70 m (164 ft to 230 ft).
Two wells have been drilled within WA-503-P to date, with the Janus-1 well confirming the presence of a working oil system within the block, having discovered a 4-m (13-ft) oil column. The Hoss-1 well, located northeast of the block, encountered encouraging oil shows. The primary exploration focus in WA-503-P will be Lower Cretaceous to Upper Jurassic basin margin fan deposits within the oil rich Legendre trend along the eastern flank of the Lewis Trough.
The most recent discovery in the area, Hurricane, is believed to contain over 100 MMbbl of oil in place (plus associated gas and condensate) within a subtle structural/stratigraphic combination trap. This is one of the play types targeted by Neon Energy in WA-503-P. The company has already identified four exploration leads based on existing 3D seismic data.