Santos Acquires 20% Stake in Sabah's Deepwater Block R

Japan's Inpex Corporation (Inpex) announced Friday that through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Inpex Offshore South West Sabah, Ltd., it has reached an agreement to transfer 10 percent of its participating interest in the Deepwater Block R (the Block) to Santos Sabah Block R Limited, a subsidiary of Santos Limited (Santos), a major Australian oil and gas exploration and production company. Santos Sabah Block R Limited also separately agreed to acquire a 10 percent participating interest in the Block from JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration (Deepwater Sabah), Limited (JX), bringing its total participating interest in the Block to 20 percent upon fulfillment of due procedures.

Inpex Offshore South West Sabah, Ltd. currently owns a 37.5 percent participating interest (inclusive of the portion to be transferred to Santos Sabah Block R Limited) in the Block, where it conducts exploration activities alongside operator JX and Petronas Carigali Sdn. Bhd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Petronas.

The Block located in offshore East Malaysia covers an area of 259 square miles (672 square kilometers) with a water depth ranging from 328 feet (100 meters) to 4,593 feet (1,400 meters). The Block lies in the area where large reserves of oil and natural gas, such as the Kikeh and the Gumusut-Kakap oil fields were discovered. The Block also is situated in the vicinity of Deepwater Block S, where Inpex Offshore North West Sabah, Ltd., a subsidiary of Inpex, conducts exploration activities as operator, and transferred a portion of its participating interest to Santos Sabah Block S Limited, a subsidiary of Santos, as announced on Sept. 1 last year.

After the acquisition of the Block in January 2012, a three-dimensional seismic survey and geological and geophysical studies have been conducted. Based on the result of the studies, the drilling of a total of three wildcat wells is planned beginning in 2015 in search of oil and natural gas deposits.

Inpex and Santos are jointly engaged in many oil and gas exploration and production activities such as the Bayu-Undan Project in the Joint Petroleum Development Area between Australia and Timor-Leste and several exploration permits adjacent to the Ichthys LNG project in the north-western Australia. This agreement with Santos regarding the Block is expected to further strengthen the relationship between Inpex and Santos. Santos conducts oil and gas exploration and production activities mainly in the Asian and Oceania regions and has extensive business experience in Australia.

Details of Deepwater Block R

  • Project: Deepwater Block R
  • Acquisition Date: Jan. 17, 2012
  • Area: 259 square miles (672 square kilometers)
  • Location: Offshore East Malaysia
  • Water Depth: 328 to 4,593 feet (100 to 1,400 meters)
  • Participating Interest: JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration (Deepwater Sabah), Limited - 27.5 percent (Operator); Inpex Offshore South West Sabah, Ltd. - 27.5 percent; Petronas Carigali Sdn. Bhd - 25 percent; Santos Sabah Block R Limited - 20 percent

Details of Deepwater Block S

  • Project: Deepwater Block S
  • Acquisition Date: Jan. 17, 2012
  • Area: 221 square miles (574 square kilometers)
  • Location: Offshore East Malaysia
  • Water Depth: 656 to 4,921 feet (200 to 1,500 meters)
  • Participating Interest: Inpex Offshore North West Sabah, Ltd. - 50 percent (Operator); Petronas Carigali Sdn. Bhd. - 25 percent, Santos Sabah Block S Limited - 25 percent

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