MEO Drops 3 Permits Offshore Australia

MEO Australia Limited announced Friday that it will discontinue its involvement in three exploration projects offshore Australia “at the earliest opportunity”, following the completion of a strategic review of its portfolio.

The company is pulling out of the NT/P68 permit after an assessment of the Heron discovery concluded that it was too small to be a potential gas supply source for the Tassie Shoal projects. MEO is also ceasing its activity in the WA-360-P and WA-361-P permits after deciding that the remaining prospectivity in these areas is too high risk for the company’s exploration strategy, relative to MEO’s other assets. MEO has advised the other joint venture participants of these permits of its intention to withdraw, which in all cases is expected to be achieved within six months.

The exploration prospects that MEO has prioritized comprise Block 9 in Cuba, PEP51153 in New Zealand’s Taranaki Basin, WA-488-P and WA-454-P in Australia’s Petrel Basin and AC/P50, 51 and 53 in Australia’s Vulcan Basin. In addition to these projects, MEO stated that it will continue to actively progress its Tassie Shoal Projects and “seek pathways to unlock shareholder value from these projects which have minimal holding costs”.

Commenting on the announcement, MEO’s MD and CEO Peter Stickland said in a company statement:

“We are pleased to have completed this strategic review, which has resulted in a more focused and higher impact portfolio. MEO has excellent oil and gas opportunities in its portfolio, notably the recently awarded Block 9 in Cuba, near term drilling opportunities in New Zealand and high quality prospects in Breakwater (WA-454-P) and Beehive (WA-488-P). In addition, the Tassie Shoal Projects are a store of significant potential value that MEO will continue to seek pathways to unlock.

"MEO is demonstrating its fiscal discipline by divesting of exploration projects that no longer have the risk-reward profile that fits with the company’s strategic objectives. In doing so our resources can be re-focused onto existing projects and new opportunities that have greater potential to generate shareholder value.”

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