Tap Acquires Australian Acreage from ExxonMobil

Tap Oil has executed an agreement to purchase ExxonMobil's equity interests in petroleum licenses TP/7 and TL/2 in the Central Carnarvon Basin of Western Australia. Specifically, Tap has purchased the following interests:

  • A 12.47% interest in Petroleum Exploration Permit TP/7.
  • A 10% interest in Petroleum Production License TL/2 inclusive of the Airlie Island Production Facilities.

This transaction is consistent with Tap's strategy of acquiring quality acreage in its primary focus area, the offshore Carnarvon Basin of Western Australia. The permits have an area of 1,649 square kilometers most of which is covered by recently acquired 3D seismic.

The capital outlay for Tap to conclude this transaction inclusive of an initial purchase of 150 square kilometers of 3D seismic is around $2 million.

Taunton Oil Field
In the next few months an appraisal well and a down-dip sidetrack well, Taunton-3 and Taunton-3H, will be drilled to appraise the recently discovered Taunton Oil Field located in TL/2, 6.8kms from the existing Airlie Island production facilities. Tap has elected to participate at its acquired 10% interest in these wells.

At present Tap interprets the Taunton Field to contain approximately 3.5 million barrels of recoverable oil. The Taunton-3 well will investigate a possible northern extent of the field and, Taunton-3H is designed to establish the possibility of additional down-dip oil to the east. The development of the Taunton field at this stage is likely although subject to the outcome of the upcoming wells and usual regulatory and JV approvals. Tap's participation in this development will require a back-in (from production proceeds) to the previously drilled Taunton-2 successful appraisal well as this well was not participated in by Exxon Mobil when it was drilled in December 2002. Success at Taunton and a development decision will require refurbishment of the existing Airlie Island production facilities as they have been dormant for around 2 years. This is estimated to cost the respective Joint Ventures around $3-5 million gross, depending on the amount of work considered necessary when the development details are established.

Hyssop-1 Exploration Well - TP/7
Following this, a further exploration well, Hyssop-1 will be drilled in TP/7 to investigate the possibility of an oil accumulation northeast of Tap's recently discovered Cyrano Oil and Gas Field and the Nasutus Oil and Gas Field (Tap has no interest in Nasutus). Tap will not directly participate in the Hyssop-1 well as Exxon Mobil elected not to participate when the well was proposed by the Operator, Apache Energy Ltd, prior to Tap negotiating the overall transaction with Exxon Mobil. Notwithstanding this, on completion of the Sale and Purchase Agreement, Tap will have the right to participate in future drilling in this permit and to back-in to any discovery at Hyssop-1.

Adjacent Acreage And Prospects
This transaction has strategic advantages for Tap in respect of its adjacent permit interests in the area, particularly EP 364 where the Cyrano 1 well was a recent discovery and it may be possible to tie into Airlie Island together with other discoveries such as Nasutus. All of these permits are proximate to the existing production infrastructure located on Airlie Island, central to TL/2.

Tap views this acreage to be highly prospective particularly given that the recently acquired 3D seismic has yet to be fully investigated by an ongoing and aggressive drilling campaign. Tap believes that numerous wells will be proposed in the area by the two operators, Apache Energy Limited and Santos Limited.

On registering this transaction, the participants are as follows:

TP/7 Parts 1, 2 and 3 Joint Venture Participants
Tap Oil Limited 12.474%
Apache Oil Aust P/L 39.658%
Santos (BOL) Pty Ltd (Operator) 43.711%
Pan Pacific Pet (SA) 4.157%

TP/7 Part 4 Joint Venture Participants
Tap Oil Limited 12.474%
Apache Oil Aust P/L (Operator) 64.658%
Santos (BOL) Pty Ltd 18.711%
Pan Pacific Pet (SA) 4.157%

TL/2 Joint Venture Participants
Tap Oil Limited 10.000%
Apache Oil Aust P/L (Operator) 51.834%
Santos (BOL) Pty Ltd 15.000%
Pan Pacific Pet (SA) 23.166%