MEO drops Heron field permit

After many years of trying to prove up a commercial project, MEO Australia Ltd. has finally bitten the bullet and relinquished its interest in the Heron gas discovery in permit NT/P68 in the Timor Sea.

The company has also relinquished two large offshore Western Australian blocks: WA-360-P and WA-361-P. MEO says an internal review found the permits no longer fitted the company’s strategy.

It said that after several wells on Heron with farminee Eni SPA, it now appeared to be too small to be a potential gas supply source for the company’s proposed Tassie Shoal offshore fixed-platform LNG and methanol projects.

MEO and Eni split up the permit early this year with Eni retaining the Blackwood discovery and MEO keeping Heron.

Off Western Australia, MEO will hand over its 62.5% share of the two Carnarvon basin permits, located between Wheatstone field and the Rankin trend fields, to JV partner and fellow Melbourne company Cue Energy Resources Ltd.

The permits contain the undrilled Maxwell and Hercules prospects that are said to have potential to hold a trillion cubic feet of gas or more. However attempts to find a farm-in partner have been unsuccessful and MEO has decided to opt out, saying the permits are too high risk compared to its other assets.

MEO will now focus on the recently awarded Block 9 in Cuba; PEP 51153 in New Zealand; the Tassie Shoal projects, where environmental approvals are valid until 2052; its Bonaparte basin permits WA-488-P and WA-454-P; and Vulcan Sub-basin permits AC/P50, AC/P51, and AC/P53 in Australia.

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