Woodside Awarded Permit for Duntroon Basin

The Duntroon Basin, in Commonwealth waters southwest of South Australia's Eyre Peninsula, will be the focus of an estimated $29 million of new petroleum exploration activity over the next six years.

The Federal Industry Minister, Ian Macfarlane, and South Australian Minister for Mineral Resources Development, Paul Holloway, jointly announced the successful bidders for the new offshore exploration permit.

A consortium comprising Woodside Energy Ltd, Anadarko Australia Company and EnCana Corporation has been awarded exploration permit EPP 31 (originally released as area S01-1). The area has only been lightly explored for petroleum, but there were significant oil shows in a well drilled in the area in 1993.

"Frontier exploration is essential if we are to fully develop Australia's offshore exploration potential. The petroleum industry requires significant discoveries if it is to not only maintain Australia's current level of oil self-sufficiency, but also continue contributing to the national balance of payments," said Mr. Macfarlane.

"This permit is the first to be awarded in a bidding round that closed in April this year. It is an indication of the wealth of opportunity the international petroleum exploration industry sees in Australian acreage. Another 30 bids for about 20 offshore areas around Australia are presently being considered," said Mr. Holloway.

"The Woodside-led consortium has committed to a guaranteed work program over the first three years of seismic data reprocessing, geological and geophysical studies as well as 1755 km of 2D seismic surveying at an estimated cost of $6.6m. It has also proposed a secondary work program over the subsequent three years of 3D seismic surveying and one well at an estimated total cost of $22.4m. There were no other bids for the area," said Mr. Macfarlane.

The Federal Government announced in April the release of 41 new areas for exploration off Australia's coastline. Applications are jointly considered by the Commonwealth and relevant State government. The award of further permits will be announced later this year.