Cooper nabs offshore exploration block in Gippsland Basin, Australia

Australia’s Cooper Energy has obtained an offshore exploration permit located in the Gippsland Basin, offshore Victoria.

The exploration permit VIC/P72 adjoins the company’s VIC/L21 license which holds the depleted Patricia-Baleen gas field and its associated subsea production infrastructure.

Cooper says the new permit is located in close proximity to several Esso-operated gas and oil fields including Snapper, Marlin, Sunfish and Sweetlips, and the Longtom gas field operated by SGH Energy.

Cooper Energy Managing Director David Maxwell said VIC/P72 is an attractive and logical addition to the company’s gas exploration portfolio on a number of counts.

“From a technical perspective, the permit is located in a proven gas and oil province, is surrounded by producing fields, is covered by high quality 3D seismic data and has identified prospects.

“From a commercial perspective, the permit is very competitively located, being close to market and the company’s gas production infrastructure at Patricia Baleen which is connected to the Orbost Gas Processing Plant.

He said the offshore Gippsland Basin was a key supply source for south-east Australian gas demand and, adding that the company could develop any VIC/P72 discoveries quickly through its company’s existing infrastructure.

Maxwell said VIC/P72 fitted neatly within the company’s gas strategy and Gippsland gas hub.

“The new exploration opportunity complements our existing project construction at Sole and the work we are doing to mature Manta as the next Gippsland Basin development. It clearly satisfied our screening criteria for likely competitiveness, foreseeable development pathway and capacity to add value.”

The permit has been awarded to Cooper Energy for a six-year term, of which the first three years is a guaranteed work program consisting of 260 km2 of 3D seismic reprocessing and studies and the drilling of one exploration well.

Cooper Energy has 100% equity in VIC/P72. It said it would assess the involvement of joint venture partners according to value and risk management considerations.

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