New Standard Energy Limited (New Standard) advises that it has received approval for amendments to its five year work program in PEL570 in the Cooper Basin. As part of the revised program, New Standard now has seismic and drilling to commence in Year Two before the new deadline of March 2016, with only minor expenditure on geological studies in Year One required before then.
New Standard requested a suspension of the work program for PEL570 acreage and a deferral of the planned seismic due to the uncertainty surrounding the ownership of the Company’s PEL570 joint venture partner, Ambassador Oil and Gas Limited (ASX: AQO, Ambassador), which is the subject of two competing takeover offers.
New Standard has now received notification from the South Australian State regulator, the Department of State Development (DSD, formerly DMITRE) that the Company was successful in its application, resulting in:
1. suspension of all work commitments in its five year work program at PEL570 in the Cooper Basin for six months; and
2. deferral of the requirement to undertake a seismic program from Year One to Year Two of the work program, which moves the target completion date for New Standard’s PEL570 seismic survey back 18 months from September 2014 to March 2016.
New Standard holds a 52.5 per cent operator position of PEL570, subject to completion of required exploration activities under a farm-in agreement with Ambassador.
New Standard Energy Managing Director Phil Thick said the six month whole of program suspension and the seismic deferral minimised New Standard’s exploration expenditure in PEL570 for the next 12 months, a postponement New Standard would use to plan and enhance its exploration program to commence drilling in Year Two of the program.
“We have already commenced geological evaluation on PEL570 and are very encouraged about prospects for Basin Centred Gas, with positive results so far,” Mr Thick said. “Origin Energy’s recent farm-in to Senex Energy’s adjacent Cooper Basin acreage has greatly added to the interest and value in our part of the Cooper Basin, which is supported by the current battle to take control of New Standard’s PEL570 minority partner, Ambassador Oil & Gas.”
“There is considerable exploration activity planned in adjacent areas of the Patchawarra Trough in the Cooper Basin over the next 12 months, which we believe will add further value to the acreage position New Standard achieved with its purchase of PEL570 earlier this year,” he added.