Polarcus done with 3D survey over Australia’s ‘largest undrilled prospect’

Seismic player Polarcus has completed the acquisition of the Beehive 3D seismic survey offshore Australia for Melbana.

Polarcus Naila; Source: Polarcus

Polarcus acquired some 600 square kilometers of seismic data over the Beehive prospect located in the WA-488-P permit, operated by Melbana, in the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf, 225 kilometers southwest of Darwin.

Melbana has described the Beehive prospect as “potentially the largest undrilled hydrocarbon prospect in Australia.”

The Beehive 3D seismic survey is being carried out to further de-risk the prospect and help with defining of a preferred location for the Beehive-1 exploration well.

Also, the company said on Tuesday that a new lead was identified during the planning of the Beehive 3D Seismic Survey and the survey area was extended by 100 square kilometers.

The added survey area covered over a newly identified lead, named Egret, that was partially within the boundary of the WA-488-P permit.

The extension of the survey area is within the approved scope and operational envelope of the Beehive 3D Seismic Survey.

Melbana’s CEO, Robert Zammit, said: “I am pleased that the 3D survey over Beehive has been concluded safely and without incident and congratulate all involved in achieving this result. Beehive is a new play type in this basin and has recently been assessed by independent expert McDaniel & Associates to contain prospective resources of up to 1.6 billion barrels of oil equivalent, which provides an exciting value creation opportunity for Melbana’s shareholders.

“We look forward to reviewing the data obtained in conjunction with Santos and Total in due course and to notification of their position regarding exercising their options to fully fund the first exploration well.”

The Beehive 3D survey, including the extension over the Egret lead, was operated by Australian energy company Santos under an operations services agreement. The funds were fully provided by Santos and French oil major Total.

It is worth reminding that Polarcus started the seismic survey over the Beehive prospect using the Polarcus Naila vessel back in late July.



Total and Santos have an option (exercisable together or individually) to acquire a direct 80 percent participating interest in the permit in return for fully funding the costs of all activities until completion of the first well in the WA-488-P permit. If that happens, Melbana retains 20 percent and will be fully carried for the first exploration well.

Beehive is located close to several existing facilities including Ichthys project and Blacktip field and pipeline offering several options for future gas monetization. In the event of a commercial discovery, Melbana will repay carried funding from its share of cash flow from the Beehive field.

Melbana will have no re-payment obligations for such carried funding in the event there is no commercial discovery and development in WA488-P.

According to the company, the Beehive is a Carboniferous age 180 square-kilometer isolated carbonate build up with 400 meters of mapped vertical relief, analogous to the giant Tengiz field in the Caspian Basin.

It is located in 40m water depth suitable for a jack-up rig, within 75 kilometers offshore and developable by either FPSO or pipeline to existing infrastructure. This play type is new and undrilled in the Bonaparte Basin with no wells having been drilled to this depth in the basin.

Independent Expert McDaniel & Associates (Canada) assessed Beehive Prospective Resource as 388 million barrels of oil equivalent in best case scenario.  McDaniel & Associates Report estimates Prospective Resources to range from 91 (low) to 1.6 billion (high) barrels of oil equivalent with 25% improvement in Chance of Success.

Offshore Energy Today Staff