Australia-based Oilex has agreed to acquire 27 petroleum licences in the Cooper-Eromanga Basins in South Australia.

The licences are currently owned by Senex Energy and its related parties based in the Northern Oil and West Gas Fairway which covers 2,445km².

The company said that it has been reviewing the Cooper-Eromanga Basin for over two years due to its high exploration success rate, low-cost development pathways and under-explored and under-developed nature.

Oilex managing director Joe Salomon said: “We see this transaction as taking a major step forward in the Cooper Basin. In acquiring the Paning Tight Gas Discovery, this provides the Company with operatorship and 100% ownership of this discovery and fits the Company’s knowledge and experience in drilling and appraising tight gas.

“Equally, the robust gas pricing in Eastern Australia provides a great basis for the commercial potential for the Paning Discovery. The basin is well endowed with infrastructure providing for attractive low-cost discovery and development for Oilex.”

The Northern petroleum retention licences (PRLs) are operated by Senex and the company has agreed to transfer 100% of its interest in the permits subject to the satisfaction of conditions and securing government approvals. The PRLs are part of the 15-year tenure retention agreement between the South Australian Government and Senex announced in August 2013.

Terms of the agreement

Under the terms of the deal, Oilex will acquire 100% of Senex’s interest in the Northern Fairway PRLs for nominal consideration and assumption of existing abandonment liabilities, PRL fees and PRL expenditure targets. The agreement is subject to various conditions, including the approval of Oilex as the operator of the Northern Fairway PRLs by the South Australian Government.

Hartleys, an Australian corporate advisory and stockbroking financial services firm, has been appointed to lead the arrangement of funding for the acquisition.

The acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of calendar year 2019.

Recently, Oilex signed an exclusivity agreement to potentially acquire up to 50% stake in the Knox and Lowry, and Whitbeck gas discoveries (KLW) in the East Irish Sea from Koru Energy.