The area lies in the thrust and fold belt about 40 km northwest of the producing Hides natural gas field, which is the main source of gas for the Papua New Guinea LNG project.
The farm-in means that Santos is now participating in the current Muruk-1 wildcat in the permit that is planned to evaluate the key Toro formation reservoir. The Toro is the gas reservoir at Hides and nearby Juha fields.
Predrill estimates suggest the Muruk structure could hold 2 tcf of gas resources. The target depth is about 3,450 m.
A successful well would aid plans to expand the PNG-LNG plant near Port Moresby by adding a third train.
Completion of the farm-in deal is subject to regulatory approvals. Details of the agreement have been kept confidential.
Following the farm-in, Oil Search as operator will hold 37.5% of the permit, ExxonMobil 42.5%, and Santos 20%.