Central Petroleum (ASX: CTP) has kicked off its Stage One exploration program with Total (FP:EN) after transferring some of its interests in three exploration permits in the South Georgina Basin, Queensland, to the French supermajor.
The company has also appointed chief executive officer Richard Cottee as its managing director and confirmed acting chairman Andy Whittle as its chairman.
Central was awarded the Authorities to Prospect for ATP 909, 911 and 912 today. These permits are covered by its agreement with Total.
Total is committed to fund 80% of exploration and appraisal costs over four years to which the fifth largest oil company in the world has committed the first US$48 million of expenditure for stage one after which Central will fund the next US$12 million.
Investment by the joint venture is US$60 million for stage one, and, at Total’s election, US$130 million for stages two and three depending on exploration success.
The permits, along with EP(A)132 in the Northern Territory, are prospective for shale gas with the target Arthur Creek shales having indicative thickness of around 300 metres and Total Organic Carbon in the range of 2% and 16%.
Central had $2.1 million in cash as of 31 December 2012 and received $1.125 million from the Century arbitration matter in January 2013. Total and Santos (ASX: STO) will also contribute around $4.5 million cash once their respective farm-in deals become unconditional this quarter.
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