Twelve new offshore petroleum exploration permits have been awarded in waters off Western Australia and Victoria, and will see $303 million in new investment over the next three years.
A total of 46 bids were received for 16 release areas of the first 2011 Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release round, which closed on 13 October 2011. Exploration permits were awarded to eight companies, including BHP Billiton, Bass Strait Oil Company, WHL Energy and Woodside.
The Minister for Resources and Energy, Martin Ferguson AM MP, said the new permits would continue the growth of investment and employment in the resources sector.
“LNG exports are forecast to significantly expand in Australia over the next two decades,” Minister Ferguson said.
“We already export $11 billion of LNG, making Australia the third largest LNG exporter in the Asia-Pacific region and the fourth largest LNG exporter in the world.
“With these new permits, we hope to see discovery of new oil and gas reserves, which could translate into more jobs and growth for our economy.”
Since 2007, over $175 billion in capital expenditure has been committed to LNG projects and there are seven projects under construction.
In the last financial year, new capital expenditure across the mining sector was valued at over $47 billion, up almost $10 billion from the previous year, with Australia’s LNG industry underpinning this growth.
In 2011, Australia exported 18.9 million tonnes of LNG, with a value of around $11.1 billion. The Australian Government’s Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics forecasts the value of Australian LNG exports for 2011-12 will increase to $11.6 billion.
Press Release, May 7, 2012