Ophir Energy has agreed a farm-in with Australia’s WHL Energy to acquire a 75% operated interest in blocks PEC-5B/1 and PEC-5B/2. Ophir will fund the acquisition of 1,500km2 of 3D seismic for up to $17m and pay $4m of WHL’s back costs. The company can then decide whether to withdraw, or fund another 1,000km2 of seismic for up to $12m, and 90% of the costs of a first exploration well, up to $30m. WHL said the deal was potentially worth $64m. “This agreement secures a substantial, operated footprint in an oil-prone frontier basin in which a number of leads have already been identified on the existing 2D seismic data.