RAWSON Resources has reported a “strong level” of interest from parties scoping out two of its exploration licences in South Australia’s Otway basin.

The company told shareholders in a statement that it had met its first farm-out milestone and had closed its data room for PEL 154 and PEL 155.

In light of the strong interest, the company said it would proceed with a shortlist of companies wishing to participate in the exploration of the onshore Otway basin.

“Our objective is to secure a partner before undertaking our drilling program,” Rawson said.

Rawson holds the only access point into the Penola Trough, outside of acreage held by Beach Energy and Cooper Energy.

Recently, the Penola Trough has attracted considerable attention following positive drilling results from a two well program undertaken in adjacent blocks by Beach Energy.

The wells targeted conventional and unconventional prospectivity in the deeper parts of the Penola Trough.

Rawson said its licence PEL 155 was well positioned over the deepest part of the trough with any potential discovery to be aided by established infrastructure.

“Should a discovery be made in our blocks, the existing nearby pipelines and processing infrastructure will provide a number of commercial options.”

The Katnook gas fields in the Penola Trough produced over 75 billion cubic feet of sales gas and associated condensate from conventional reservoirs between 1992 and 2011.

Rawson Resources Chairman Simon Bird said recent drilling results in the near vicinity had greatly increased the potential of the blocks.

“This has been reflected in the increased level of interest from other companies,” he said.

The company will provide an update on the potential deal in coming months.