Cue Exploration has formed JV with partner companies to drill Ironbark prospect in 2020, offshore Western Australia


Image: WA-359-P location, Offshore Western Australia. Photo courtesy of Cue Energy Resources Limited.

Cue Exploration has formed a joint venture (JV) with partner companies to drill the Ironbark-1 well in exploration permit WA-359-P, offshore Western Australia (WA).

The move follows conclusion of all agreements between the Australian company and BP Developments Australia, Beach Energy and New Zealand Oil & Gas.

The agreements finalised include the BP Option Deed, farm-in agreements with Beach and New Zealand Oil & Gas, and the co-ordination agreement between all parties.

As a part of these agreements, Cue received around A$1.8m (£0.98m) and will be funded by BP, Beach and New Zealand Oil & Gas for around $11m (£6m) of well costs.

Additionally, Cue will be allocated an additional A$8m (£4.3m) to fund the uncarried portion of its earlier agreed participating costs to drill the well.

BP is the operator of the WA-359-P Joint Venture with a 42.5% stake while Cue owns 21.5% stake, Beach holds 21% interest and New Zealand Oil & Gas holds 15% interests.

The JV plans to drill Ironbark-1 well in late-2020

The JV now plans to drill the Ironbark-1 well in the exploration permit in late-2020. Cue plans to drill the well, the first test of the Ironbark prospect, to 5,500m.

Cue CEO Matthew Boyall said: “BP, Beach and New Zealand Oil & Gas are technically strong, well funded partners and Cue is very excited to be working together in this joint venture to drill a well in the Ironbark prospect. As previously announced, the Ocean Apex rig has been contracted and drilling is scheduled for late 2020.”

“Cue holds a significant, 21.5% participating interest in the world class Ironbark prospect, which has a best estimate 15 Tcf of prospective recoverable gas and is close to existing LNG infrastructure. If successful, Ironbark has the potential to be company changing for Cue.”

Exploration permit WA-359-P is situated in the Carnarvon Basin around 50km from the North West Shelf LNG infrastructure.

Cue said that the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) had already accepted an Environment Plan for the Ironbark-1 well site survey activities, which are slated to begin in the third quarter of 2019.