Rampart Energy Ltd. reported Monday that the Company has secured rights to an 80 percent working interest as Operator in exploration permit WA-503-P offshore Western Australia, through an agreement with Neon Energy Ltd. and partner Black Swan Resources Pty Ltd. (Black Swan). Subject to the approval of the National Offshore Petroleum Titles Administrator (NOPTA), Rampart will be assigned the 80 percent interest in WA-503-P in consideration for assuming Neon Energy's commitments pertaining to the permit.
Block WA-503-P is located offshore Western Australia within the Dampier Sub-basin, inboard of the giant Northwest Shelf complex and on trend with numerous oil and gas discoveries, including the Legendre and Hurricane fields. The shallow water depth across the block (maximum 229 feet or 70 meters) allows for drilling by lower cost jackups.
Rampart Energy Executive Chairman, Gavin Harper commented "We are delighted to have secured the rights to this prospective oil acreage, located within such a prolific hydrocarbon province. This acquisition is consistent with the Company's strategy of building a portfolio of oil and gas interests, as Operator, on sensible and achievable commercial terms, and complements our other Australian exploration asset, WA-507-P. Current market conditions provide an excellent environment for Rampart to further build its portfolio, and I am pleased that the Rampart team has been able to act quickly and opportunistically to secure this acquisition."
The WA-503-P exploration permit carries a three-year primary term that includes a commitment to acquire 31 square miles (80 square kilometers) of new "Broadband" 3D seismic data and completes various geological and geophysical studies. The seismic commitment is incorporated in to the first year of the permit, expiring in May, and Rampart Energy will approach NOPTA to determine the best way to implement an appropriate work program over the block.
The primary exploration focus in WA-503-P will be the Lower Cretaceous to Upper Jurassic sandstone reservoirs within the oil rich Legendre Trend, situated along the eastern flank of the Lewis Trough. Existing exploration wells within and adjacent to the block confirm the presence of a working oil system, having encountered oil shows and, in one case, a 13 foot (4 meter) oil column. The decommissioned Legendre field is situated some 12 miles (20 kilometers) to the northeast of the block, and produced over 40 million barrels of oil from excellent quality sandstone reservoirs. The most recent discovery in the area, Hurricane, is believed to contain over 100 million barrels of oil in place (plus associated gas and condensate) within a structural/stratigraphic combination trap. This is one of the play types being targeted by Rampart Energy, which has already identified four exploration leads based on existing 3D seismic data.
Black Swan will hold 20 percent interest in WA-503-P, and the agreement with Neon Energy requires that Rampart must carry Black Swan throught the primary term of the permit. It is noted that Black Swan is an entity partially controlled by Conrad Todd, a non-executive director of Rampart. Todd abstained from Rampart Board vote on the acquisition of the 80 percent working interest and carry of Black Swan by Rampart.
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