The Whicher Range gas reserves are located about 200km south of Perth and are estimated at up to four trillion cubic feet, which is roughly twice the total volume of domestic gas supplied by the North West Shelf over the last 20 years.
Mr. Brown said the Whicher Range project had provided technical challenges to previous operators. However, if commercialized by Amity Oil, the gas would provide a very competitive alternative energy supply for both industrial and domestic use.
"The Whicher Range gas project has the potential to totally transform industry in the South-West by creating a massive new, clean energy source to encourage additional value adding industries and thousands of new jobs and opportunities," the Minister said, during a visit to the Whicher Range Five drilling site.
"I congratulate Amity Oil and their joint venture partners for their determination to progress forward with the Whicher Range gas project and wish them every success with their current program."
Mr. Brown said the potential for Whicher Range gas to drive new industry in the South-West was enormous, especially in the resources sector.
"It is foreseeable that competitively priced gas from the Whicher Range field could assist the State to achieve its long-held ambition of an aluminum smelter and could underpin the expansion of both the Kemerton Industrial Estate and the Port of Bunbury," he said.
"In addition, the availability of a new competitively priced energy source will assist the State to market the South-West as a location for a pulp mill."
The Minister said a successfully developed Whicher Range field would also provide significant benefits for householders, with domestic gas competition expected to improve reliability of supply and lead to lower gas and electricity prices.
He said Amity Oil had advised him that results from their current drilling program would be available by the end of December.
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