US energy giant Chevron has jumped into two shale gas plays held by Beach Energy for up to $US349 million, in a move that could also inject $US18 million into Gold Coast-based gas hopeful Icon Energy.
Chevron Australia has agreed to acquire 60 per cent interest in Beach Energy’s PEL218 tenement in South Australia and up to 36 per cent of Beach’s interest in the ATP855 tenement in Queensland.
The deal is in two stages and worth a combined $US349 million to Beach.
Icon owns 40 per cent of ATP855 and will retain that interest under this deal, but the company has agreed to sell a 4.9 per cent interest in the prospective shale gas field to Beach for $US18 million under an option exercisable by June 30 this year.
The deal enhances the development of the tenements in the Nappamerri Trough which has started to show promise for the partners following gas flows struck in early February from the Halifax 1 well in ATP855.
The Chevron farm-out agreement has been welcomed by Icon managing director Ray James (pictured) who says the joint venture will benefit from Chevron’s extensive experience and expertise in shale gas exploration and development.
Beach Energy managing director Reg Nelson says the farm-out agreement with one of the world’s largest energy explorers is a major fillip for the company.
“This transaction vindicates in many ways the vision that Beach Energy has in relation to the potential of unconventional gas in the Cooper Basin,” says Nelson.
“We look forward to working closely with Chevron and Icon Energy in the continued rejuvenation of the Cooper Basin.”
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