Western Australia Releases 13 New Areas in Licensing Round

The Western Australia State Government is releasing thirteen new areas for oil and gas exploration in the Canning, Carnarvon and Perth Basins.

Resources Minister Francis Logan said bidding for the areas had the potential to greatly benefit Western Australia.

"The State's resources sector is the driving force behind WA's thriving economy and petroleum is the State's largest sector by value," Mr. Logan said.

"Petroleum exploration in WA is reaching new heights and now accounts for 56 percent of Australia's total petroleum exploration.

"From 2005 to 2006, petroleum exploration increased by 65 percent in WA - from $572million to $942million."

The new acreages include eight areas in the Canning Basin, four in the Carnarvon Basin and one in the Perth Basin.

The Canning Basin release areas range in size from 321 to 9,971 sq.km, with four in the south and four in the north.

The Minister said there had been increased interest in the Canning Basin in recent years, with bids for acreage involving Australian and Canadian companies.

"Up to 10 wells may be drilled this year in the Canning Basin, a significant increase on previous years," he said.

"The Carpenter Government is making decisions for the future and will continue to promote the petroleum potential of WA's vast sedimentary basins."