Australian junior Emperor Energy has signed a memorandum of understanding which could see APA Group provide the midstream infrastructure for the development of its Judith gas field off Victoria.

Under the MoU the two companies will work together to agree the scope and commercial framework for the provision of midstream infrastructure and services related to gas that will potentially be produced from the Judith field in VIC/P47.

Emperor revealed Wednesday it had been in regular confidential discussions with APA related to the Judith gas field for more than a year.

“Emperor Energy considers the establishment of an MoU with APA to be a major milestone in progressing the development of the Judith gas field,” Emperor said in Wednesday’s statement.

It added that it was also in discussions with potential farm-in partners to support the drilling of the Judith-2 exploration and appraisal well and future development of the field.

Emperor said it had received strong interest from a number of “quality upstream industry participants”, with discussions progressing with several parties under confidentiality agreements.

Earlier this year an independent report by consultants 3D-GEO placed the best estimate contingent gas resource at the Judith field at 150 billion cubic feet and best estimate prospective resources at 1.2 trillion cubic feet.

The Judith gas field was discovered in 1989 by Anglo-Dutch supermajor Shell, with the Judith-1 well intersecting gas in the Turonian aged Emperor Group reservoirs.

Emperor is still determining its future exploration, appraisal and development plans for the field, but has previously stated that nearby existing infrastructure provided potential development pathways.

Emperor holds a 100% interest in Vic/P47 which lies in Victoria’s offshore Gippsland basin.