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JV to acquire exploration permits offshore W. Australia including combined 100% WI in blocks WA-34-P, WA-343-P and WA-344-P in E. Browse Basin 200 km. offshore covering 3,500 sq. km in 50-250 m water.

Inpex Holdings Inc., Tokyo, (Tokyo: 1605) and Total E&P Australia, a subsidiary of French oil company Total, Paris, (NYSE: TOT) have entered a joint venture to acquire exploration permits offshore Western Australia from ConocoPhillips, Houston, (NYSE: COP) for an undisclosed price. The permits include a combined 100% interest in three blocks in the Eastern Browse Basin, approximately 200 kilometers offshore in the vicinity of Ichthys Field and covering about 3,500 square kilometers in 50 to 250 meters of water. Inpex will be operator and holds a 60% participating interest in permits WA-34-P, WA-343-P and WA-344-P. Total holds a 40% interest. The acquisition is subject to government approval.