3D OIL and Carnarvon Hibiscus may farm out a 20 per cent stake in a Gippsland basin permit to HiRex Petroleum, a joint venture between subsidiaries of Hibiscus Petroleum, Rex International Holding and Triax Ventures.

A heads of agreement signed between the two groups gives HiRex an option to acquire the stake in Vic/P57 permit area from 3D Oil, in exchange for the use of its Rex virtual drilling liquid hydrocarbon detection technology to determine the best hydrocarbon prospects in the concession.

The option must be exercised within three months of the date of execution of the option agreement, with exploration drilling expected to start in first half of 2015.

The deal, which is subject to the approval of 3D Oil shareholders, would see Carnarvon Hibiscus retain its 55.1% stake in the permit, while the 3D Oil stake dropped to 24.9%.

Rex International chief executive Måns Lidgren said he was pleased the Rex Virtual Drilling technology was a key contributing factor to HiRex’s participation in the VIC/P57 concession.

“HiRex’s entry into Australia as its first project reflects the versatility of Rex Virtual Drilling, which can be applied in different geologies, geographies and applied to both onshore and offshore liquid hydrocarbon exploration,” he said.

The Vic/P57 permit is about 44,800 hectares in size, an area HiRex chief operating officer Pascal Hos was known to be oil prolific.

“With high quality 3D seismic data available over most of the concession, and the proven high hit rate of Rex Virtual Drilling in detecting hydrocarbons, we are excited about the prospects in VIC/P57,” he said.