Santos & Mitsui Team Up for New Otway Basin Exploration

Santos and the Mitsui & Co. Ltd subsidiary, Mittwell have joined forces again to explore for oil and gas this time in another part of the offshore Otway Basin, southern Australia.

Santos reports that Mittwell Energy Resources Pty Ltd, already a joint venture partner in the $200 million Casino gas development, has now taken a 25% equity interest in the VIC/P51 exploration permit area.

Mittwell will jointly participate with Santos and existing partner INPEX ALPHA LTD., a subsidiary of INPEX CORPORATION, in a new exploration program in the VIC/P51 permit area, which is in offshore Victoria, in the Otway Basin.

This includes drilling the Callister 1 exploration well, which spudded on October 13th 2004, and is being drilled in VIC/P51 by Transocean's semisub, Jack Bates.

The Jack Bates arrived on location at the site of the Callister 1 well earlier this week, after a 7-week voyage from Norway.

The Mittwell farm-in agreement is subject to approval by relevant authorities.

The VIC/P51 permit covers an area of over 2600 square kilometers. It lies adjacent to the Casino gas development in VIC/P44 and the deepwater exploration permit VIC/P52.

The VIC/P52 permit is the location for Santos' frontier exploration well, Amrit 1, which will be drilled immediately following the Callister 1 well.

"We are pleased to welcome Mittwell as a partner in a portion of our Otway Basin exploration program," Santos' Managing Director, Mr. John Ellice-Flint, said. New interest holders in the VIC/P51 exploration permit are Santos with 55%; Mittwell Energy with 25% and Inpex Alpha Ltd with 20%.
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