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Exploration Strategy

Central’s exploration footprint represents a rare opportunity in Australia, covering largely under-explored hydrocarbon-bearing basins with enormous potential. The strong cash flow generated from the producing oil and gas fields provides a firm base from which Central can enter the next phase of its growth strategy and focus capital on value accretive exploration and appraisal activities.

The current Central portfolio encompasses opportunities within the Amadeus, Southern Georgina, Wiso and Surat Basins. The total area held by Central for exploration (both granted and under application) within these basins is 188,767 km² (76,318 km² granted and 112,450 km² under application). The Amadeus Basin has, to date, been a focus for the majority of Central’s exploration activity, with ~170,000 km² of areal extent, five known working petroleum systems and four fields having produced significant quantities of oil and gas.

The Amadeus Basin is estimated to contain up to 53 Tcf of gas (compiled by EnergyQuest from independent sources).

Notwithstanding this production history, the Amadeus Basin is by any standard under-explored with only a total of 39 exploration wells and ~14,500 km of 2D seismic acquired across the entire basin. This can in part be attributed to the small and historically oversupplied Northern Territory gas market which has limited investment in the region.

Following connection to the east coast gas market via the NGP in January 2019, Central’s Northern Territory exploration assets now have a clear pathway to an attractive east coast gas market.

Recognising this new market dynamic, Central significantly augmented its exploration capabilities in 2019 and initiated a full exploration portfolio review and update, incorporating historical and recently acquired technical data in order to generate a systematic and consistent play-based approach to drive new exploration strategies.

This portfolio review confirmed that the Amadeus Basin is one of the few remaining large under-explored, onshore, working hydrocarbon systems in Australia. A total of 115 potential targets (65 gas and 50 oil) have been identified at this point within Central’s permits and applications in the Amadeus Basin.

The 2019 exploration program delivered promising results in the Amadeus Basin in Central Australia through the Dukas-1 well and substantial certified 2C coal seam gas resources at Project Range (ATP 2031) in Queensland’s Surat Basin.

In April 2022, Central commenced drilling the Palm Valley-12 exploration/appraisal well, targeting a new gas resource in the Pacoota-3 Sandstones, which lie beneath the existing gas producing zones at Palm Valley.

Central and its partners, Santos and Peak Helium, are planning three exploration wells in the Amadeus Basin in 2023, targeting multi-Tcf of natural gas, helium and hydrogen from identified sub-salt closures.

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