Melbana Energy has secured a petroleum exploration permit AC/P70 located in the territory of Ashmore and Cartier Islands in Australia for an initial period of six years.

Under the Australian Government’s 2020 Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release, the company had filed an application for the exploration permit.

Petroleum exploration permit AC/P70 consists of the underdeveloped Vesta-1 oil discovery drilled in 2005.

The Vesta-2 appraisal well, which was drilled in 2007, identified a gas cap.

According to Melbana, the complex field is a better opportunity to the company that has the technical capability and track record of identifying new play types.

Melbana Energy executive chairman Andrew Purcell said: “Our experience in this sub-basin coupled with the previous discoveries and multiple data sets and play types offered in this permit area affords a good opportunity for a technically strong and motivated junior like Melbana to try and identify its next substantial exploration prospect in Australian waters.

“Our track record gives us some insights into what the market is looking for and we believe demand for more such opportunities will likely remain buoyant, especially if the current oil price is maintained.”

In September last year, Melbana announced the spudding of Alameda-1 exploration well, located in its Block 9 Production Sharing Contract (Block 9 PSC) in Cuba.

Covering 2,344km2 of area, Block 9 PSC is located 140km east of Havana, on the north coast of Cuba, in a proven hydrocarbon system, and along trend with the Varadero oil field.