Australia Issues New Offshore Exploration Permits

Australian Resources Minister, Ian Macfarlane, announced the award of 12 offshore petroleum exploration permits adding more than $270 million of investment to Australia's offshore exploration industry.

"These latest permits cover areas off Western and South Australia, as well as the Northern Territory, bringing the number of permits in Australian offshore waters to a record total of 190," said Mr. Macfarlane.

"Increased petroleum exploration is essential to Australia's long term energy security and to our future economic wellbeing, and these areas offer exciting potential for petroleum discovery.

"The Government has recently introduced exploration tax breaks and boosted the nation's exploration geoscience data with an extra $134 million, and we are now welcoming new explorers from countries including Scotland and India," he said.

The twelve new permits are:

  • One permit to Shell Development (Australia) Pty Ltd and Chevron Australia Pty Ltd, in the Carnarvon Basin off Western Australia, near Scarborough gas field;
  • Two permits to Octanex NL and Strata Resources NL, in the Southern Exmouth Sub-basin, southwest of the Enfield oil production area;
  • One permit to Oilex NL, Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation Limited, Videocon Industries Limited, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited, and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited, in deep water in the Northern Exmouth Plateau;
  • One permit to Gascorp Australia Limited, in the Outer Exmouth Plateau in a deep water extension of Australia's major hydrocarbon producing basin;
  • One permit in the Northern Exmouth Plateau, northwest of the Mutineer/Exeter oil field, to Cue Exploration Pty Ltd;
  • One permit to Gascorp Australia Limited, in the Northern Exmouth Plateau, north east of the Janz/Io gas discovery;
  • Two permits to Westralian Petroleum Limited, Lempika Pty Ltd, and Emphazise Pty Ltd, located within a proven petroleum system in the Perth Basin off Western Australia;
  • One permit to Exoil Limited, Gascorp Australia Limited, Moby Oil and Gas Limited, and National Energy Pty Ltd, in the Otway Basin off South Australia; and
  • Two permits to Oil and Gas Pty Ltd, Australian Natural Gas Pty Ltd, and Nations Natural Gas Pty Ltd, in the Bonaparte Basin off the Northern Territory.

Permit WA-381-P (released as W05-21) in the Perth Basin has been awarded to Westralian Petroleum Limited, Lempika Pty Ltd, and Emphazise Pty Ltd. The companies proposed a guaranteed work program of a Controlled Source ElectroMagnetic (CSEM) survey, studies, reprocessing 500km of 2D seismic data, and one exploration well at an estimated total cost of $10.8 million. The secondary work program consists of acquiring 40km2 of new 3D seismic data, one exploration well, a CSEM survey, and studies, estimated to cost $11.9 million. There were three other bids for this area.

Permit WA-382-P (released as W05-22) in the Perth Basin has be awarded to Westralian Petroleum Limited, Lempika Pty Ltd, and Emphazise Pty Ltd. The companies proposed a guaranteed work program of a CSEM survey, studies, reprocessing 500km of 2D seismic data, and one exploration well at an estimated total cost of $10.8 million. The secondary work program consists of acquiring 40km2 of new 3D seismic data, one exploration well, and studies, estimated to cost $11.9 million. There were three other bids for this area.

Permit WA-383-P (released as W05-13) in the Carnarvon Basin off Western Australia has been awarded to Chevron Australia Pty Ltd and Shell Development (Australia) Pty Ltd. The companies proposed a guaranteed work program of reprocessing 865 km of 2D seismic data, acquisition of 1200 km of new 2D seismic data, and studies at an estimated cost of $1.5 million. The secondary work program consists of studies and acquisition of 225 km2 of new 3D seismic data, at an estimated cost of $3.3 million. There were no other bids for this area.

Permit WA-384-P (re-release area W05-19) in the Carnarvon Basin has been awarded to Octanex NL, and Strata Resources NL. The companies proposed a guaranteed work program of studies, and the acquisition of 1400 km of new 2D seismic data at an estimated cost of $2.5 million. The secondary work program consists of studies, and one exploration well, at an estimated cost of $20.6 million. There were no other bids for this area.

Permit WA-385-P (re-release area W05-20) in the Carnarvon Basin has been awarded to Octanex NL, and Strata Resources NL. The companies proposed a guaranteed work program of studies, and the acquisition of 250 km of new 2D seismic data at an estimated cost of $1.25 million. The secondary work program consists of studies and one exploration well, at an estimated cost of $20.6 million. There were no other bids for this area.

Permit WA-386-P (released as W05-9) in the Carnarvon Basin has been awarded to Gascorp Australia Ltd. The company proposed a guaranteed work program of studies, and the acquisition of 1400 km of new 2D seismic data at an estimated cost of $2.5 million. The secondary work program consists of studies, and one exploration well at an estimated cost of $25.6 million. There were no other bids for this area.

Permit WA-387-P (released as W05-10) in the Carnarvon Basin has been awarded to Gascorp Australia Ltd. The company proposed a guaranteed work program of studies, and the acquisition of 1400 km of new 2D seismic data at an estimated cost of $2.5 million. The secondary work program consists of studies and one exploration well at an estimated cost of $20.6 million. There were no other bids for this area.

Permit WA-388-P (released as W05-11) has been granted to Oilex NL, Gujarat State Petroleum Company, Videocon Industries Ltd, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd, and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd. The companies proposed a guaranteed work program of reprocessing 1000 km of 2D seismic data, acquisition of 1060 km2 new 3D seismic data, and studies at an estimated cost of $6.7 million. The secondary work program consists of one exploration well, acquisition of 300 km2 of new 3D data, and studies, at an estimated cost of $16.8 million. There were two other bids for this area.

Permit WA-389-P (released as W05-12) has been granted to Cue Exploration Pty Ltd. The company proposed a guaranteed work program of studies, and acquisition of 350km2 of new 3D seismic data, at an estimated cost of $3.5 million. The secondary work program consists of two exploration wells and studies at an estimated cost of $30.4 million. There were two other bids for this area.

Permit EPP35 (re-release area S05-1) in the Otway Basin has been awarded to Exoil Limited, Gascorp Australia Limited, Moby Oil and Gas Limited, and National Energy Pty Ltd. The companies proposed a guaranteed work program of studies, 1200 km of 2D seismic data reprocessing, and acquisition of 325 km2 of new 3D seismic data at an estimated cost of $4.5 million. The secondary work program consists of studies and one exploration well at an estimated cost of $20.6 million. There was one other bid for this area.

Permit NT/P71 (re-release area NT05-2) in the Bonaparte Basin has been awarded to National Oil and Gas Pty Ltd, Australian Natural Gas Pty Ltd, and Nations Natural Gas Pty Ltd. The companies have proposed a guaranteed work program of studies, and acquisition of 400km of new 2D seismic data at an estimated cost of $1.25 million. The secondary work program consists of studies, and one exploration well at an estimated cost of $20.6 million. There were no other bids for this area.

Permit NT/P72 (re-release area NT05-1) in the Bonaparte Basin has been awarded to National Oil and Gas Pty Ltd, Australian Natural Gas Pty Ltd, and Nations Natural Gas Pty Ltd. The companies have proposed a guaranteed work program of studies, and acquisition of 250km of new 2D seismic data at an estimated cost of $1 million. The secondary work program consists of studies, and one exploration well at an estimated cost of $20.6 million. There were no other bids for this area.

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