Statoil and PetroFrontier Corp (PFC) have agreed that Statoil shall acquire 80% of PFC's working interest in the four exploration permits and two exploration permit applications in the Southern Georgina play in Northern Territory in Australia.
Statoil will assume operatorship from 1 September 2013, and will carry 100% of the initial exploration phase capped at USD 50 million.
The first exploration phase will continue through 2014, at which time Statoil will decide whether to continue the exploration to further de-risk the play.
"We believe the Southern Georgina Basin asset to be potentially very prospective and we are happy to assume operatorship for this 14-million-acre area. This deal is in line with our exploration strategy where we pursue access early and at scale to de-risk the plays and grow organically through exploration activities. We will continue the good work done by PetroFrontier with the aim of clarifying the prospectivity," says Statoil onshore exploration unit vice president Vidar Skjæveland.
"We are very pleased that Statoil is clearly interested in the exploration of the Southern Georgina Basin. Its commitment to further explore the basin is a very positive indication of their belief in the prospectivity of the area," says PetroFrontier president and CEO Paul Bennett.
The Southern Georgina Basin asset will be Statoil's first shale operatorship outside the US.
Statoil farmed into PFC's four permits (EP 103, 104, 127 and 128) in the South Georgina Basin in June 2012.
The two exploration permit applications consist of EPAs 213 and 252. PFC is an exploration company established in 2009 and is listed on the TSX Venture Exchange (PFC-V) in Toronto, Canada.