29 new offshore areas released for petroleum exploration

Federal Minister for Industry and Science Ian Macfarlane.

Federal Minister for Industry and Science Ian Macfarlane.

The Federal Government has released 29 areas for offshore petroleum exploration in eight basins in Commonwealth waters under the 2015 Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release.

Addressing the opening session at the annual Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) conference in Melbourne, Minister for Industry and Science Ian Macfarlane said this year’s release offered explorers a mix of frontier and mature areas.

“The release of this acreage comes at a time of challenging market conditions, so the continuation of exploration effort is vitally important for the future economic wellbeing of the nation,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“I am also pleased to announce the awarding of eight new offshore petroleum exploration permits from the first round of bidding for new acreage released in the 2014 Offshore Acreage Release.”

Mr Macfarlane said the eight new permits would open the way for a further investment of $263 million by Australia’s offshore petroleum exploration industry in Commonwealth waters.

The new permits are located in Commonwealth waters off Western Australia and in the Territory of the Ashmore and Cartier Islands.

“We hope these new permits will result in discoveries of new oil and gas reserves, which could translate into future jobs and growth for our economy,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“I look forward to working with the petroleum industry in 2015 to continue to ensure Australia maintains its attractiveness as a destination for exploration investment, and to underpin our long term energy security.”

The specific permits awarded from the 2014 Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release Round One include:

AC/P59 (released as AC14-2) located approximately 750 km west of Darwin has been awarded to Murphy Australia Oil Pty Ltd and Mitsui E&P Australia Pty Ltd. The joint venture proposed a $3.9 million guaranteed work program consisting of316 km² new multi-client 3D broadband seismic acquisition, 2D reprocessing with broadband workflow of existing 2D seismic data, geological and geophysical interpretation of datasets and AvO analysis. The secondary work program consists of well planning, geological and geophysical studies, an exploration well and post well geotechnical studies totalling $60.3 million. There were four other bids for this area.

WA-510-P (released as W14-15) located approximately 7 km northwest of Barrow Island and 100 km north of Onslow, has been awarded to Apache Northwest Pty Ltd. Apache proposed a $10 million guaranteed work program of geotechnical studies, acquisition and processing of 3D broadband data, rock physics/quantitative interpretation and 3D inversion studies. The secondary work program consists of geotechnical studies, one exploration well and post well studies totaling $20.6 million. There was one other bid for this area.

WA-511-P (re-released as W13-16) located in the Exmouth Sub-basin, has been awarded to AWE (Carnarvon) Pty Ltd.  AWE proposed a$7.5 million guaranteed work program of licensing of MC3D, geological and geophysical studies, 3D inversion studies and acquisition of new 2D seismic. The secondary work program consists of geological and geophysical studies, one exploration well and post well studies totaling $50.7 million. AWE was the sole bidder.

WA-512-P (re-released as W13-19) located in the offshore North Perth Basin, covering large areas of the Houtman and Abrolhos sub-basins, has been awarded to AWE (Offshore PB) Pty Ltd.  AWE proposed a $ 3.0 million guaranteed work program of 2D and 3D reprocessing, rock physics and geological and geophysical studies as well as acquisition of new 2D seismic survey. The secondary work program consists of geological and geophysical studies, one exploration well and post drilling studies totaling $25.5 million. AWE was the sole bidder.

WA-513-P (released as W14-4) located in the Caswell Sub-basin between 200 to 270 km from the northwest coast of Western Australia has been awarded to Santos Offshore Pty Ltd and Inpex Browse E&P Pty Ltd. The proposed $5.65 million guaranteed work program consists of licensing of multi-client 3D datasets, pre-stack depth migration of the 3D datasets, and geological and geophysical studies. The secondary work program consists of seismic acquisition planning, 3D seismic acquisition and processing, and geological and geophysical studies totaling $3.6 million. There was one other bid for this area.

WA-514-P (released as W14-5) located in the Caswell Sub-basin between 200 to 270 km from the northwest coast of Western Australia has been awarded to Santos Offshore Pty Ltd and Inpex Browse E&P Pty Ltd. The proposed $4.8 million guaranteed work program consists of licensing of multi-client 3D data and geological and geophysical studies. The secondary work program consists of geological and geophysical studies, one exploration well and post drilling studies totaling $30.5 million. There was one other bid for this area.

WA-515-P (released as W14-7) located on the Rankin Trend within the Dampier Sub-basin approximately 140km northwest of Dampier has been awarded to Tap Oil Limited. The proposed $0.7 million guaranteed work program consists of reprocessing of 415km2 of 3D seismic data, rock physics and geotechnical studies. The secondary work program consists of acquiring 160km2 of new 3D seismic data, geotechnical studies and one exploration well totaling $17.7 million. Tap Oil Ltd was the sole bidder.

WA-516-P (released as W14-16) located close to the western edge of the Barrow Sub-basin approximately 100km north-northeast of Onslow has been awarded to Tap Oil Limited. The proposed $0.7 million guaranteed work program consists of reprocessing of 415km2 of 3D seismic data, rock physics and geotechnical studies. The secondary work program consists of acquiring 160km2 of new 3D seismic data, geotechnical studies and one exploration well totaling $17.7 million. There was one other bid for this area.

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/.

Enter your details to subscribe to the free fortnightly Gas Today e-newsletter

Thank you for signing up for the Gas Today Online Update.