Melbana Energy (ASX:MAY) has been awarded two additional petroleum exploration licences that are adjacent to its highly prospective Beehive oil prospect in the Petrel sub-basin offshore Western Australia.

Beehive is a Carboniferous age carbonate that is analagous to the giant Tengiz field in the Caspian Basin and has a best estimate prospective resource of 416 million barrels of oil equivalent.

The shallow-water prospect can be drilled by a jack-up rig rather than a more expensive semi-submersible rig and is also close to existing infrastructure.

Melbana executive chairman Andrew Purcell says the new permits offshore Western Australia and the Northern Territory allow the company to build on the knowledge gained from studying its existing licence to pursue other leads across a wider area.

“This additional running room makes the Beehive Prospect an even more exciting opportunity, particularly since the minimum work requirements can leverage Melbana’s in-house expertise before having to decide whether to commit to the larger work commitments in years four and beyond,” he added.

The company is currently engaging with a number of parties regarding a potential farm-out for oil permit.

Melbana Energy (ASX:MAY) share price chart


In the Cooper Basin, Red Sky Energy (ASX:ROG) has noted that Yarrow gas field operator Santos (ASX:STO) has nearly completed reprocessing 2D seismic and identified priority sites for the next well.

The final location of the well will be decided once this work is completed.

Santos is expected to drill the Yarrow well in the second half of 2021.

In the event of a success, it can be quickly brought into production by laying a 20km pipeline to tie into the grid at Napowie to the south of the Yarrow gas field.

Yarrow has previously been estimated to host best estimate contingent resources of 188 billion cubic feet of gas.

Santos is earning an 80 per cent interest in a swathe of Cooper Basin licences held by Red Sky by funding 100 per cent of a 50sqkm 3D seismic survey over Yarrow, a Yarrow appraisal well and a horizontal appraisal well at the Flax oil and gas field to the southeast.

Red Sky Energy (ASX:ROG) share price chart