Australia Awards Seven Offshore Exploration Permits

Australia: Awards Seven Offshore Exploration Permits

The Minister for Resources and Energy, Martin Ferguson AM MP, has announced the grant of seven new offshore petroleum exploration permits as part of round two of the 2011 Exploration Acreage Release.

The award of these permits will see an estimated $277 million in new investment in offshore areas off the Northern Territory and Western Australia over the next three years.

The Minister said awarding exploration permits helped to maintain Australia’s energy security and economic growth.

“Exploration is vital for the future of Australia’s resources sector, and the Australian Government is committed to working with industry to enhance our international competitiveness and ensure the long-term growth of this important industry,” Minister Ferguson said.

“There continues to be a strong and growing interest in Australia’s prospectivity from both domestic and international companies with 19 bids for seven areas received.

“These new exploration permits raise the potential to discover new oil and gas reserves, which will underpin new projects, provide more jobs and support the Australian economy.”

Australia is currently the third largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the Asia-Pacific region and the fourth largest LNG exporter in the world, exporting more than $12 billion in LNG a year.

“Australia has more than half of the world’s major LNG projects currently in construction and their completion could see Australia become the world’s largest LNG exporter,” Minister Ferguson said.

“These new permits have the potential to increase project development opportunities and strengthen our energy security and export capacity.”

A full list of the exploration permits awarded is attached and further information on acreage release is available at www.petroleum-acreage.gov.au

Permits Awarded

NT/P83 (released as NT11-1) north of Darwin in the Arafura Sea in the Money Shoal Basin offshore Northern Territory has been awarded to Tangiers Petroleum Ltd. The company proposed a guaranteed work program of acquisition 500km of 2D seismic, acquisition, processing, and analysing 100 km2 3D seismic data, prospects and lead developments and geotechnical studies to an estimated value of $2 million. The secondary work program consists of geotechnical studies; final prospect delineation and well location; and one exploration well to an estimated value of $19 million. There were no other bids for this area.

WA-477-P (released as W11-2) north-north-west of Broome, offshore Western Australia mainly within the Scott Plateau has been awarded to Shell Development (Australia) Pty Ltd. The company proposed a guaranteed work program of 2560km2 3D seismic acquisition and processing; 500km2 3D seismic reprocessing; 1000 km2 3D pre-stack depth migration processing; 200km2 high definition shallow hazard survey reprocessing; one exploration well; and geological and geophysical studies to an estimated value of $58.4 million. The secondary work program consists of 1000 km2 3D pre-stack depth migration processing, geotechnical studies, and one exploration well to an estimated value of $39.8 million. There was one other bid for this area.

WA-479-P (released as W11-4) north-northeast of Port Hedland offshore Western Australia has been awarded to Pathfinder Energy Pty Ltd. The company proposed a guaranteed work program of geological and geophysical studies, and 460km2 3D seismic survey and processing to an estimated value of $8.45 million. The secondary work program consists of geological and geophysical studies, and one exploration well to an estimated value of $25.4 million. There were no other bids for this area.

WA-480-P (released as W11-8) north of Dampier, Western Australia, across the north-eastern parts of the Exmouth Plateau and the Beagle Sub-basin, has been awarded to Repsol Exploration, SA. The company proposed a guaranteed work program of geotechnical studies and 2000km2 of 3D seismic surveying, processing and interpretation; 1800km of 2D seismic survey, processing and interpretation; and geological and geophysical studies to an estimated value of $27.55 million. The secondary work program consists of geological and geophysical studies; one exploration well; and acquisition and processing of 500km2 3D seismic survey to an estimated value of $110.36 million. There were two other bids for this area.

WA-482-P (released as W11-9) extending across the north-eastern Exmouth Plateau and the Beagle Sub-Basin (outer Northern Carnarvon Basin) has been awarded to Liberty Petroleum Corporation. The company proposed a guaranteed work program of 2010km2 3D seismic acquisition and processing; licensing 3800 km2 of reprocessed 3D seismic data; 5000km of reprocessed 2D seismic data; and an exploration well to an estimated value of $96.5 million. The secondary work program consists of one exploration well, and geological and geophysical studies to an estimated value of $80.5 million. There were four other bids for this area.

WA-478-P (released as W11-14) offshore the coast of Western Australia on the Exmouth Plateau within the Northern Carnarvon Basin has been awarded to Woodside Energy Ltd and Japan Australia LNG (MIMI) Pty Ltd. The companies have proposed a guaranteed work program of 810 km2 3D seismic survey; purchase and reprocessing of 810 km2 Aragon 3D seismic data; and geotechnical studies to an estimated value of $13.48 million. The secondary work program consists of geotechnical studies and one exploration well to an estimated value of $36.8 million. There was one other bid for this area.

WA-481-P (released as W11-18) over the offshore northern Perth Basin, offshore Western Australia has been awarded to Murphy Australia Oil Pty Ltd, Kufpec Australia Pty Ltd, and Samsung Oil & Gas Australia Pty Ltd. The companies have proposed a guaranteed work program of 4738km 2D seismic reprocessing; 550km 2D seismic survey; 2550km2 3D seismic survey; seismic interpretation; three exploration wells; and geotechnical studies to an estimated value of $70.76 million. The secondary work program consists of geotechnical studies and two exploration wells to an estimated value of $36.5 million. There were three other bids for this area.

Press Release, September 13, 2012

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