Shell Secures New Exploration Acreage in Browse Basin

Shell Development (Australia) Pty Ltd has been awarded exploration rights to a block in the Browse Basin offshore Western Australia, in which Shell will have a 100 percent interest.

The permit area, WA-371-P, is located in the Caswell Sub-basin in the northern Browse Basin, approximately 450-km west northwest of Broome. This block lies in relatively shallow water depths that range between 200m and 300m and is adjacent to the giant Ichthys/Brewster gas field. Chairman of the Shell Companies in Australia, Tim Warren, said "The re-emergence of strong growth in Asia-Pacific LNG demand has prompted us to look again at acreage, where previously we would have been concerned about the commercial potential. Now, we believe that permit area WA-371-P could be a significant contributor to the supply of LNG to the Asia-Pacific market.

Shell's interests in Australia are very important to realizing our regional and global growth aspirations for gas, and to sustaining our global LNG leadership position. Additional exploration is a pre-requisite to successfully sustaining this position, and at the same time enhancing our overall commitment to Australian gas."

For the first three years, Shell has committed to seismic studies, which will include the reprocessing of a large 3D seismic grid and in-depth reservoir analysis; field development planning; and the drilling of 12 wells. There is also significant potential for a further three-year program.

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