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Lloyds List: Exmouth deepwater permit

Published: Aug 22, 2006

OIL companies are gaining new exploration licences for offshore Australia after the country opened up new frontiers for hydrocarbon exploration.

Chevron and Shell have gained a large deepwater permit on the Exmouth plateau offshore Western Australia, where they secured three permits last year.

The two oil majors intend to shoot 930 miles of 2D seismic surveys over the 1,390 sq mile block over the next six years in search of large gas prospects.

The area is already home of the North West Shelf and Greater Gorgon gas complexes and lies close to the new oil fields coming on stream in the Exmouth sub-basin.

‘Western Australia is a cornerstone of our plans to build an international gas business to supply energy to Australia and Asia-Pacific,’ said Jay Johnson, managing director of Chevron Australia.

Another winner, London-listed Plectrum Petroleum, secured two large deepwater frontier blocks from the Commonwealth-Western Australian joint authority.

Plectrum has committed to shooting 2D seismic surveys and using remote sensing and electromagnetic technologies to search for hydrocarbons in permits WA-379 and 380 in the Bremer sub-basin.

– Plectrum has acquired Reap Tunisia and a 50% stake of the Nabeul offshore block this month and has pledged to spend GBP2.5m ($4.7m) on an exploration programme involving seismic and electro-magnetic surveys.

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