Photo: Illustration; Triangle Energy

Australian regulator assessing Pilot’s proposed sale of interest in Perth Basin to Triangle

The National Offshore Petroleum Titles Administrator (NOPTA) is assessing the sale agreement between the Australia-based Triangle Energy and Pilot Energy, which, if granted, will enable Triangle to acquire a stake in the offshore exploration permit WA-481-P in the Perth Basin.

Originally, Triangle entered into an agreement with Pilot Energy to acquire an interest in the exploration permit WA-481-P back in November 2020.

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In light of this, Pilot confirmed on Friday that the proposed sale of majority interest and operatorship of the WA-481-P exploration permit to Triangle is pending regulatory approval with NOPTA.

The company added that under the terms of the sale agreement, Triangle is expected to free carry Pilot for the first three years of the work program from completion of the transaction, which includes acquisition and processing of extensive 2D and 3D seismic surveys.

Furthermore, the firm added that Pilot will progress the WA-481-P work programme independently of Triangle to assure permit compliance following uncertainty concerning regulatory approval of the sale agreement and associated documents.

Pilot Energy
Source: Pilot Energy

The WA-481-P, covering 8,605km2, is immediately adjacent to, and contiguous with, the Triangle-owned and operated offshore Cliff Head oil field.

Moreover, based on the terms of the sale agreement, Triangle is obligated to pay Pilot $300,000 in cash and free carry Pilot through the completion of the three-year minimum work program – currently worth $5.75 million – as consideration for the transfer of the 78.75 per cent interest in the exploration permit WA-481-P and operatorship.

Pilot Energy
Source: Pilot Energy

In addition, Pilot advised NOPTA that it intends to start execution of the work programme activities to assure full permit compliance, since, the transfer of the majority interest and operatorship in WA-481-P is still being assessed by the Australian offshore regulator.

Pilot intends to ensure that the environmental studies and planning also support its proposed CCS project and offshore wind projects.

As previously reported, in addition to and in parallel with the sale of the majority interest in WA-481-P, Triangle and Pilot also agreed to form the Cliff Head Wind and Solar Project Joint Venture.

Triangle explained that the Wind & Solar JV will assess the feasibility of the development of an offshore and onshore wind and solar power project centred around the Cliff Head offshore oil field production facilities, Cliff Head Alpha and the onshore Arrowsmith Separation and Processing Facilities.

In its latest update, Pilot explained it is working with Triangle and NOPTA to progress the completion of the transfer of the majority interest and operatorship in WA-481-P as per the sale agreement and if the transfer is ultimately approved, Pilot will recover reimbursement of the expenditures that are subject to the agreed free carry commitments.

It is worth noting that Pilot holds a 21.25 per cent interest in the Cliff Head oilfield, material working interests in WA-481- P and EP416/480 exploration permits, located offshore and onshore Western Australia, which form its foundation assets for the potential development of clean energy projects in Western Australia.