CNOOC Ups O&G Interest in Australia through Stake-Increase in Galilee JV

Australia's Exoma Energy said Monday that it is carrying out a supplemental farm-in agreement with state-owned China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) that will see the Chinese company's participating interest in the Galilee joint venture for oil and gas exploration permits – ATP 991P, ATP 996P, ATP 999P, ATP 1005P and ATP 1008P – increase from 50 percent to 60 percent. 

CNOOC spent $13 million (AUD 12.7 million) on the supplemental farm-in, Exoma disclosed in a statement. After accounting for the supplemental farm-in, CNOOC's investment in the Galilee JV will stand at $65 million (AUD 63 million).

Exoma and CNOOC had earlier on December 9, 2010 entered a farm-in agreement which allowed CNOOC to earn stakes in the five oil and gas exploration permits in the Eromanga and Galilee Basins. The five permits cover an area of approximately 10,425 square miles (27,000 square kilometers). Exoma holds a 50 percent stake in each of the permits. CNOOC had invested $51 million (AUD 50 million) into the farm-in agreement.  

The JV also allows CNOOC to earn participating interests in new oil and gas exploration permits – ATP 1127P, ATP 1130P, ATP 1137P and ATP 1150P – which were awarded to Exoma on June 26, 2012. The four new permits lie in the Eromanga and Galilee Basins as well, and they extend across 7,336 square miles (19,000 square kilometers) of land. CNOOC confirmed on the same day that it will be taking up a 50 percent participating interest in each of the four permits. 

Exoma also confirmed Monday that CNOOC will acquire 13 percent of its issued capital with $11 million (AUD 10.7 million). CNOOC, subject to Exoma's shareholder approval, will be able to increase its interest in Exoma at 19.9 percent. 

CNOOC's supplemental farm-in and capital acquisition are subject to approval from the Chinese Government Authorities, Australia's Foreign Investment Review Board and the Queensland Government. 

A spokesperson representing Exoma told Rigzone that the Galilee JV has drilled 10 oil and gas exploration wells for its 2012 drilling program. The JV aims to drill five additional exploration wells by the end of this year. 


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