Senex Gets 15-Year Deal to Explore, Appraise in Cooper-Eromanga Basin

Senex Energy Limited and the South Australian Government announced Monday that both parties have reached agreement for a 15-year petroleum retention licence (PRL) scheme to enable efficient investment in exploration and appraisal across Senex’s operated oil permits in the South Australian Cooper-Eromanga Basin.

Key points

  • Covers approximately 3,861 square miles (10,000 square kilometers) of Senex-operated oil exploration permits in the South Australian Cooper-Eromanga Basin, including the prolific western flank oil fairway
  • Allows Senex to convert petroleum exploration licences (PELs) to more secure petroleum retention licences (PRLs)
  • 15-year scheme, with an initial five-year term and provision for two further five-year terms
  • Replaces tenure specific expenditure obligations with a portfolio-wide oil exploration and appraisal expenditure target enabling efficient and targeted investment
  • Increases operational flexibility and provides planning and expenditure certainty for Senex and its shareholders
  • Exploration and appraisal expenditure target of approximately $27.6 million (AUD 30 million) per year, net to Senex


The PRL scheme is a joint initiative of Senex and the South Australian Department of Manufacturing, Innovation, Trade, Resources and Energy (DMITRE), the peak regulatory authority for the State’s petroleum industry.

Senex Managing Director Ian Davies said the initiative highlights the benefits of investing in South Australia.

“DMITRE has proven to be Australia’s thought leader in the design of regulation that balances investors’ need for security and certainty with the government’s need to encourage economic development that delivers increased royalties, employment opportunities and a thriving oil and gas industry.

“For Senex shareholders, this is a major coup at a pivotal stage of the Company’s development that enables us to target investment dollars efficiently,” he said. The scheme enables Senex to meet its new expenditure obligations with a portfolio-wide overall expenditure target for oil exploration and appraisal. This means that Senex will retain its permit interests over each of the five-year terms of the scheme provided it meets the agreed overall expenditure target for that period.

“The scheme allows us to prioritize investment in our oil business according to prospectivity and therefore spend our capital efficiently and target the highest return investments for Senex and South Australia,” Davies said.


In a statement released today, South Australian Minister for Mineral Resources and Energy, Tom Koutsantonis, said Senex has grown rapidly as a result of its focus on oil and gas exploration and developing the Cooper-Eromanga Basin.

“The hundreds of millions of dollars to be invested by Senex will inevitably create jobs not only in the Cooper-Eromanga Basin, but in Adelaide and elsewhere in South Australia,” he said.

“Many local enterprises will also have an opportunity to benefit by providing equipment and services to these exploration and development projects.”


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