Australian Govt Awards 10 Offshore Oil Exploration Blocks

CANBERRA (Dow Jones), Oct. 2, 2009

Permits to explore in 10 new offshore oil exploration blocks in waters off Western Australia and the Northern Territory, with total planned investment of A$158 million, were awarded on Friday by Resources and Energy Minister Martin Ferguson.

Two permits were awarded in the Carnarvon Basin, offshore Western Australia, to Woodside Petroleum Ltd., Chevron Australia and Shell Development Australia, Ferguson said in a statement.

Other companies awarded blocks included Carnarvon Petroleum Ltd., Finder Exploration, Goldsborough Energy, Murphy Australia Oil and Diamond Resources.

"The additional investment in Australia's offshore petroleum exploration sector not only offers exciting potential for petroleum discovery but will ultimately help to further develop our petroleum resource and underpin our security of energy supply," he said.

Blocks are awarded under a works bidding program, whereby applicants are required to nominate a guaranteed minimum dry hole exploration program for each of the first three years and a secondary program for the remaining three years, he said.  

Copyright (c) 2009 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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