Australia Grants 13 Offshore Petroleum Exploration Permits

CANBERRA (Dow Jones Newswires), November 24, 2008

Australia's Energy Minister Martin Ferguson announced Monday that the government has granted 13 new offshore petroleum exploration permits representing A$500 million of investment in the sector.

"In the current economic climate, it is encouraging that so many companies want to invest in the future of Australia's petroleum industry," Ferguson said in a statement.

"Exploration is vital to prove up new reserves and maintain a pipeline of new developments for the nation's ongoing energy security and future exports," he said.

Of the 13 new permits, four were in the Browse Basin, off Western Australia state, to Hunt Oil Company, Murphy Australia and Nexus Energy Ltd.; three permits were in the Canning Basin, off Western Australia, to Woodside Petroleum Ltd.; one permit was in the Canarvon Basin, off Western Australia, to Finder Exploration Pty Ltd.; three were in the Bonaparte Basin, off Western Australia, to Goldsborough Energy Pty Ltd. and National Oil Corp. Pty Ltd.; and two permits were in the Bonaparte Basin off the Northern Territory, to Essar Exploration & Production Ltd.

A total of 24 bids were received for the 13 areas of the 2007 release. The new permits will be jointly administered by the federal government, and the Western Australia state and Northern Territory governments.  

Copyright (c) 2008 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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