Origin to Acquire additional Stake in BassGas & Offshore Otway Basin

Otway Basin, Australia
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Origin Energy has entered into conditional agreements to acquire an additional 5% interest in the BassGas project and a 1% interest in the Offshore Otway Basin and nearby exploration acreage from CalEnergy Gas (Australia) Limited.

CalEnergy, which holds a 20% interest in the BassGas Project and a 23.5% interest in the nearby Trefoil field (exploration permit T/18P), has agreed to sell a 5% interest in each to Origin. Origin is the operator of both of these areas and the additional interests will increase Origin's holdings to 42.5% of the BassGas project and 46.4% in the Trefoil field.

The Bass Gas project is in the final stages of development and commissioning of the integrated onshore and offshore facilities is scheduled for the December quarter of 2005. Total proved and probable reserves at the BassGas Yolla field were substantially upgraded at 30 June to 454 PJe.

Trefoil is a liquids rich gas field 25 km to the west of the Yolla field. Further delineation work is planned to commence in the December quarter of 2005 including a 3D seismic survey and engineering design to estimate the recoverable reserves at this field.

Under a separate sale agreement CalEnergy also has agreed to sell a 1% interest from its existing 6% interest in the Otway Gas project and associated exploration acreage (T/30P, T/34P and VIC P43). The sale is subject to pre-emptive rights of the existing joint venturers. The acquisition of these additional interests would increase Origin's holdings to 30.75%. Woodside Petroleum is the operator of the development of the Otway Gas project which is over 40% complete and on schedule for commissioning in mid-2006.

In announcing the agreements Managing Director Grant King said "The acquisition of these additional interests at a fair value will build our core production assets base in South Eastern Australia."

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