MEO Australia (ASX:MEO, OTC:MEOAY) has started shooting the 601 square kilometre Floyd 3D seismic survey aimed at more accurately mapping and estimating resources at the Marina gas and liquids discovery in WA-454-P.
It follows the 508 square kilometre Zeppelin 3D seismic survey over AC/P50 and AC/P51 permits in the Ashmore Cartier region that will determine if MEO's exploration concepts in the two Timor Sea permits could be converted into drillable prospects.
WA-454-P is close to GDF Suez and Santos' (ASX:STO) Petrel, Tern and Frigate fields, which have been earmarked for the Bonaparte FLNG project.
Meanwhile, AC/P50 and AC/P51 are located close to Shell's Prelude floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) project, PTTEP's Cash-Maple fields, Sinopec's Puffin field and Nexus Energy's (ASX:NXS) Crux gas-condensate field.
MEO had previously estimated leads in AC/P50 had gross prospective resources of 500 to 1000 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of gas and/or 20 to 80 million barrels (MMbbl) of oil while in AC/P50 the resources were estimated at 500 to 1000Bcf of gas and about 75MMbbl of oil.
Italian major Eni has also been on an acquisition spree in the region, taking up a 50% stake in MEO's NT/P68 to the east by funding two wells as well as options over the Blackwood prospect and buying Santos' 40% stake in the Evans Shoal field for up to US$350 million (A$327 million).
The area is also close to the Bayu Undan field which feeds the Darwin LNG project.
The Floyd survey will also allow MEO to select a drilling location at the Breakwater prospect, which it said was a very attractive, sizeable exploration target that has the potential to be analogous to the adjacent Blacktip gas field, as well as determine if two nearby leads could be matured into drillable prospects.
Floyd and Zeppelin are two of three seismic surveys MEO is shooting back-to-back to add technical value to each of its permits ahead of seeking partners to share the risk and capital investment required to drill prospects.
The firs survey was the 170 line kilometre Zeppelin 2D survey in AC/P53.
MEO holds a 100% stake in WA-454-P, AC/P50, AC/P51 and AC/P53.
At 31st December 2011, MEO held cash of A$83.75 million of which A$23.25 million was held in US dollars.