ConocoPhillips has boosted its offshore exploration portfolio in Australia with a farm-in to a permit with shallow-water gas potential.

Through an agreement with 3D Oil, the US supermajor will take up an 80% operator interest in Block Vic/P79 in the Otway basin.

3D Oil will receive a cash payment of US$3 million and be carried for the first US$35 million of well costs.

The permit has a primary term minimum work commitment of a single exploration well by February 2025, said 3D Oil, which also partners ConocoPhillips in nearby Block T/49P.

3D Oil earlier this month said it has delineated two near-field exploration targets, Defiance and Trident, in Block Vic/P79 that are down-dip from the existing La Bella discovery.

These are in addition to the previously recognised Vanguard prospect, which has best estimate contingent pre-drill potential of 161 billion cubic feet of gas.

Water depths in the area that contain Defiance, Trident and Vanguard are about 100 metres.

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