Chevron, Apache, PTTEP Awarded Australia Exploration Permits

SYDNEY (Dow Jones Newswires), July 8, 2011

Chevron, Apache and Thailand's PTT Exploration & Production (PTTEP) are among six companies that have been awarded new offshore oil and gas exploration permits by Australia's government.

Resources and Energy Minister Martin Ferguson on Friday estimated that exploration work on the six permits in waters off Western Australia and South Australia states will have a combined value of nearly A$137 million over three years, with further investment possible depending on exploration success.

Special conditions have been placed on PTTEP, which was responsible for the Montara oil spill offshore northern Australia in 2009. These include lodging governance processes with the regulator prior to drilling, preparing a spill mitigation report, and being open to a peer review of drilling operations at the regulator's discretion.

Other companies to win permits include MEO Australia and little-known Australian firms Flow Energy Ltd. and Bight Petroleum Corp.

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