Australia's NOPTA Approves MEO's Application to Vary WA-488-P Work Program

MEO Australia Limited announced Wednesday that it has been notified by the National Offshore Petroleum Titles Administrator (NOPTA) of the approval of its application to vary the Western Australian offshore exploration permit WA-488-P (MEO 100 percent) work program by suspending and extending Permit Year 2 by 12 months to Nov. 21, 2016.

This additional time will provide an opportunity for MEO to undertake 93 miles (150 kilometers) of 2D broadband reprocessing and seismic inversion over the Beehive prospect. The potential drilling of the Beehive-1 exploration well has also been deferred 12 months until 2017. The details of the revised WA-488-P Work Program are listed below

Revised WA-488-P Work Program (100 percent interest)

  • Year 2
    • Start Date: May 22, 2014; End Date: Nov. 21, 2016
    • Minimum Work Requirements
      • Geological and Geophysical Studies - Estimated Expenditure (indicative only): $144,500 (AUD 200,000)
      • Survey Data Proprietary Processing - Estimated Expenditure (indicative only): $216,750 (AUD 300,000)
      • 93 mile (150 kilometer) 2D Broadband Reprocessing and Seismic Inversion - Estimated Expenditure (indicative only): $108,375 (AUD 150,000)
  • Year 3
    • Start Date: Nov 22, 2016; End Date: Nov. 21, 2017
    • Minimum Work Requirements
      • One Exploration Well - Estimated Expenditure (indicative only): $14.4 million (AUD 20 million)
  • Year 4
    • Start Date: Nov 22, 2017; End Date: Nov. 21, 2018
    • Minimum Work Requirements
      • 154 square miles (400 square kilometers) New Seismic Survey - Estimated Expenditure (indicative only): $3.6 million (AUD 5 million)
  • Year 5
    • Start Date: Nov 22, 2018; End Date: Nov. 21, 2019
    • Minimum Work Requirements
      • Geological and Geophysical Studies - Estimated Expenditure (indicative only): $144,500 (AUD 200,000)
  • Year 6
    • Start Date: Nov 22, 2019; End Date: Nov. 21, 2020
    • Minimum Work Requirements
      • One Exploration Well - Estimated Expenditure (indicative only): $14.4 million (AUD 20 million)

MEO’s MD & CEO Peter Stickland commented on the announcement:

“The Beehive prospect is one of the largest hydrocarbon structures in Australia and this work program variation is an important step for MEO to further enhance the characterization of the feature. MEO will seek to farm down up to 80 percent of its interest in WA-488-P prior to potential drilling of Beehive, which is now anticipated in 2017.”

In a separate announcement, MEO reported that Managing Director and CEO Peter Stickland has signed a new employment agreement, effective Dec. 1. Stickland had previously signed a one-year fixed term contract, ending Dec. 18.

A summary of the key terms and conditions of the new employment contract are attached. In line with the Company’s fiscal discipline, remuneration set out in the agreement includes a portion of the Total Fixed Remuneration granted as Exercisable Performance Rights, therefore reducing the cash component of the annual salary.

Recently appointed MEO Chairman, Andrew Purcell, said the Board was delighted that Peter has agreed to the new contract and can continue with his efforts to lead and rebuild the Company.

“Peter has shown strong leadership and a determination to achieve success for MEO’s shareholders in his first year as Managing Director. Peter is the right person to lead MEO as we seek to create shareholder value in a challenging business environment,” said Purcell.

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