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New investment in offshore exploration totals over $372 million

29 May 2014

Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane today announced the awarding of nine new permits as part of Round 1 of the Australian Government’s 2013 Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release.

Mr Macfarlane said the new permits are located in Commonwealth waters offshore from Western Australia, Victoria and the Territory of Ashmore and Cartier Islands.

“I am pleased to see the continuing exploration of Australia’s offshore petroleum sector,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“These permits will see more than $372 million in exploration investment over the next six years.

“This demonstrates the importance of putting in place a policy framework to ensure Australia remains a strong and attractive investment destination. I look forward to working with the petroleum industry to maintain exploration investment in Australia.

“Australia’s energy future is enhanced by the efficient exploration of our sedimentary basins.”

The specific permits awarded include:

VIC/P69 (released as V13-1) located offshore Victoria in the Otway Basin has been awarded to Origin Energy Resources Limited. Origin proposed a guaranteed work program of 1,500km 2D seismic reprocessing, geological and geophysical studies, acquisition of 517km² new 3D seismic survey, seismic interpretation and prospect assessment totalling over $16.55 million. The secondary work program consists of geological and geophysical studies including maturing a drilling candidate and one exploration well totalling $31.9 million. There were no other bids for this area.

AC/P57 (released as AC13-4) located offshore Western Australia in the Bonaparte Basin has been awarded to Murphy Australia Oil Pty Ltd and Mitsui E&P Australia Pty Ltd. The joint venture proposed a guaranteed work program of licencing 114km² 3D seismic reprocessing, geological and geophysical interpretation of datasets, 335 km² 3D PTSM seismic reprocessing and AVO studies totalling $1.15 million. The secondary work program consists of well planning, geological and geophysical interpretation of datasets, one exploration well and post well geotechnical studies totalling over $60.3 million. There was one other bidder for this area.

WA-497-P (released as W13-18) located offshore Western Australia approximately 75 km west of Onslow, has been awarded to AWE Australia Pty Limited. AWE proposed a guaranteed work program of 387 km² 3D seismic reprocessing—HCA04A 3D seismic survey, 339 km² 3D seismic reprocessing—west Gorgon 3D seismic survey, 250 km 2D seismic reprocessing, geological and geophysical studies and 400 km² 3D seismic inversion totalling $1.5 million. The secondary work program consists of geological and geotechnical studies and two exploration wells totalling $40.2 million. There was one other bid on this area.

WA-498-P (released as W13-10) located offshore Western Australia approximately 163 km north of Karratha has been awarded to Santos Offshore Pty Ltd and JX Nippon Oil and Gas Exploration (Australia) Pty Ltd. The joint venture proposed a guaranteed work program of 80km² 3D seismic reprocessing, geological and geophysical studies, including CSEM sensitivity studies and charge and migration modelling and prospect assessment totalling $385,000. The secondary work program consists of new CSEM survey, geological and geophysical studies and one exploration well totalling $28.3 million. There were no other bids on this area.

WA-499-P (released as W13-13) located offshore Western Australia approximately 160 km north-northwest of Onslow, has been awarded to Apache Northwest Pty Ltd. Apache proposed a guaranteed work program of 890 km² new broadband 3D seismic data and PSDM processing, geotechnical studies, rock physics/quantitative interpretation and 3D seismic inversion studies and one exploration well totalling $20.4 million. The secondary work program consists of 650 km² new broadband 3D seismic survey; PSDM processing and geotechnical studies totalling $6.4 million. There were five other bids for this area.

WA-500-P (released as W13-9) located offshore Western Australia approximately 190 km north west of Dampier, has been awarded to Finder No 7 Pty Limited. Finder proposed a guaranteed work program of geological and geophysical studies, licence/acquisition of 1, 200 km² new reprocessed 3D PSDM seismic data and 210 km new 2D seismic data totalling $2.2 million. The secondary work program consists of 500 km² 3D QI/reservoir characterisation, Geological and geophysical studies and one exploration well totalling $30.5 million. There were no other bids on this area.

WA-501-P (released as W13-12) located offshore Western Australia approximately 80 km north-west of Dampier has been awarded to Carnarvon Petroleum Limited. Carnarvon proposed a guaranteed work program of collate and interpret all open file seismic data, 80 km² PSDM 3D seismic reprocessing, biostratigraphy and reservoir studies; interpretation of reprocessed seismic data and petrophysical studies totalling $270,000. The secondary work program consists of geological and geophysical studies and one exploration well totalling $20.12 million. There were no other bids on this area

WA-502-P (released as W13-2) located offshore Western Australia has been awarded to Santos Browse Pty Ltd and INPEX Browse E&P Pty Ltd. The joint venture proposed a guaranteed work program of 496.9km  licence caswell mutliclient 3D seismic data, geophysical and geological studies and updating depositional model with regional data, totalling $7.1 million. The secondary work program consists of one exploration well, geophysical and geological studies including integrating well data and updating prospect mapping and commercial studies totalling $80.6 million. There were two other bids for this area.

WA-503-P (released as W13-11) located offshore Western Australia approximately 90km north of Dampier in the Northern Carnarvon Basin, has been awarded to Neon Energy Limited. Neon proposed a guaranteed work program of 80km² licence broadband 3D seismic, geological and geophysical studies, including seismic interpretation, QI analysis and AVO studies, prospect assessment and well planning, totalling $1.55 million. The secondary work program consists of one exploration well, geological and petrophysical studies, including post well analysis, totalling $23 million. There were no others bids for this area.

Other 2013 Acreage Release areas

The Australian Government has obligations under the Perth Treaty to provide the Indonesian Government with three months notification prior to permits being awarded in the Perth Treaty area. At the conclusion of this three month period, the Joint Authority will offer Petroleum Exploration Permits for release areas AC13-1, AC13-2 and AC13-3.

In relation to release area W13-1, a permit was offered, but the bidder declined.  In relation to W13-3, an offer has been made and acceptance is pending. In relation to NT13-5, the bids are under consideration by the Commonwealth-Northern Territory Offshore Petroleum Joint Authority.

Release areas NT13-4, W13-14, W13-15, W13-16 and W13-17 received no bids.

Further information on titles under the Offshore Petroleum Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006 can be found at https://neats.nopta.gov.au/ and on acreage release at http://www.petroleum-acreage.gov.au/.

Media Contacts: Mr Macfarlane's office 02 6277 7070