MELBANA Energy Limited reports that Polarcus has been awarded the contract to undertake the Beehive 3D Seismic Survey over the Beehive Prospect, one of the largest undrilled hydrocarbon structures in Australia.

The Beehive 3D Seismic Survey is being operated by Santos pursuant to an Operations Services Agreement and is fully funded by French major Total and Santos.

The Beehive 3D survey is expected to be commenced in July and completed before the end of August 2018. The survey is a typical 3D survey using methods and procedures similar to others conducted in Australian waters.

The survey acquisition area is approximately 600 sq. km with a larger operational area around it to allow for vessel turns and testing of equipment. The operational area is located in the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf, approximately 225 km west-southwest from Darwin.

The acquisition of a new 3D seismic survey over Beehive will provide potential for further de-risking of the prospect and will facilitate consideration of a preferred location for the Beehive-1 exploration well.

Melbana believes the Beehive prospect is potentially the largest undrilled hydrocarbon prospect in Australia. It is a Carboniferous age 180km2 isolated carbonate build up with 400m of mapped vertical relief, analogous to the giant Tengiz field in the Caspian Basin.

It is located in 40m water depth suitable for a jack up rig, within ~75km of shore and developable by either FPSO or pipeline to existing infrastructure. This play type is new and undrilled in the Bonaparte Basin with no wells having been drilled to this depth in the basin.