Four new permits have been awarded in the Carnarvon Basin offshore Western Australia. The permits have been awarded for a period of six years and its is expected that approximately A $62 million will be spent on exploration. Three of the permits, WA-321-P, WA-322-P and WA-323-P were awarded to Octanex and Strata Resources. The fourth, WA-320-P was warded to OMV. Federal Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources Ian Macfarlane said the areas' proximity to existing oil and gas infrastructure enhanced the opportunities for any discoveries. The acreage was released for bidding in July 2001. The Carnarvon Basin is Australia's largest petroleum province.