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MEO Australia CEO Jurgen Hendrich. Image courtesey of MEO.

Eni dropped out of the Heron prospect Wednesday and has also decided to increase its interest in the Blackwood prospect in the same offshore Australian block.

MEO Australia, Eni’s partner in permit NT/P68, said Eni will not drill a follow-up well in the Heron prospect and has dropped its interest in that area.

NT/P68 is off the north coast of Australia. Eni farmed into the permit in 2011.

Eni had 60 days after the completion of the Heron South-1 well in December 2012 to either drill a second well or exit the permit.

Australia-based MEO extended the deadline multiple times as Eni considered its options. The completion deadline for the second well was set at February 2016.

The South Heron-1 well encountered hydrocarbons but could not achieve commercial flow rates during resting. The well was plugged and abandoned.

“We are pleased to regain a 100% participating interest in what we consider to be substantial discovered and prospective resources at Heron,” MEO CEO Jurgen Hendrich said.

MEO will assume operatroship of the Heron area and undertake a resource assessment to determine its future course of action.

Under the farm-in agreement Eni had the option to increase its 50 percent stake to 75 percent in the Blackwood area, also in permit NT/P68.

Italy-based Eni would have had to fully fund the work program needed to determine a final investment decision for the discovery.

The company elected to not increase its stake.

The Blackwood-2 well was drilled at the end of 2013 but did not flow during production testing.