Mereenie Oil and Gas Field

Tenement Information

Tenement Area
Location Operator CTP Consolidation Entity Other JV Participants
OL 4 123 Amadeus Basin NT Central 50 50 Macquarie 50
OL 5 158 Amadeus Basin NT Central 50 50 Macquarie 50


Mereenie Joint Venture

On 1 September 2015, Central assumed Operatorship of the Mereenie Oil and Gas Field after acquiring a 50% interest from Santos in June 2015.

Effective 1 January 2017 Macquarie Mereenie Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of Macquarie Group Limited, acquired Santos’ 50% interest in Mereenie and became a joint venture partner with Central. Central remains Operator.

Facility Details

Oil and condensate are produced from the field, processed and trucked to Port Bonython for storage prior to export by tanker; normally to refineries in Singapore. Gas associated from the oil production is sold to MacArthur River Mine, APA Reticulation in the Northern Territory and AGL in the east coast gas market.

Description and Geology

The Mereenie Oil and Gas Field was discovered in 1963 and commenced production in 1984. The hydrocarbon accumulation is contained in an elongate four-way dip anticline that has a length of 40 km and width of more than 5 km. Reservoirs comprise a series of interbedded sandstones of the Pacoota Formation which have been the development focus, as well as the overlying Stairway Sandstone which has produced gas in most wells while drilling and several wells have been completed as gas producers.

More than twenty separate conventional reservoir sands have been identified and correlated across the field, with typical individual net sand thicknesses of less than 5 m.  The Mereenie field has a gross hydrocarbon interval of more than 800 m with a gas cap and an oil rim.


The Mereenie Oil and Gas Field commenced production over 30 years ago and has historically produced hydrocarbon liquids for sale in South Australia and natural gas for Northern Territory markets. As at the end of 2019, the field has delivered 17 MMbbls of oil and condensate and over 280 PJ of natural gas.

In 2019, the Northern Gas Pipeline began commercial operation and provided access to east coast gas markets. In response, gas rates from Mereenie nearly tripled in calendar year 2019 from 2018. Production in calendar year 2019 was approximately 16 PJ.

Appraisal and Development

Most wells in the field have been drilled on the flank of the Mereenie anticline to intersect reservoir sands within the Pacoota P3 oil rim. Six wells have been drilled on the crest of the structure to target the Pacoota P1 gas cap with the Pacoota P3 gas cap not penetrated to maintain pressure support for the Pacoota P3 oil rim. As such, development drilling and recompletions are needed in the Pacoota P3 gas cap to develop the 2P gas reserves.

The current priority of the joint venture is to optimise existing gas production and plan development and appraisal activities to access additional resources to supply the east coast gas market. Appraisal of the Stairway Formation is also being planned, with cost-saving options to re-use existing bores being prioritised. The Stairway Formation holds in excess of 100 PJ of gross contingent resource.


Exploration potential in the licence areas includes a sub-thrust play, targeting the Pacoota P1 and P3 Sandstones which could be sealed against the southern bounding fault of the Mereenie anticline. Additional work mapping the configuration and volumetrics of these potential traps is planned.