BEACH Energy has completed its acquisition of a 20 per cent stake in 3D Oil’s T/49 permit in the Otway basin, in Tasmanian waters in the Bass Strait.

3D Oil retains in an 80% operating stake in the permit, though the company remains in talks with a range of other potential farm-in partners, it said in an announcement.

The T/49P joint venture is planning to initiate its exploration program with the acquisition of at least 75,500 hectares of 3D seismic, 3D Oil said, in what will be the major commitment in the primary term of the exploration permit.

This Flanagan marine seismic survey is scheduled to be acquired late in 2014 subject to joint venture and regulatory approvals.

The permit, which covers an area of 496,000 hectares in water depths generally no greater than 100 metres, is lightly explored and covered by a broad grid of 2D seismic data of varying vintages.

Two early exploration wells have already been drilled on the field, which is located west of King Island close to existing onshore gas infrastructure.

3D Oil considers the permit highly prospective for gas, being adjacent to the Thylacine and Geographe gas fields which have a combined gas in place (“GIP”) of over 2 trillion cubic feet.

Thylacine is the largest gas discovery in the Otway basin.