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Bloomberg: Shell, Partners Win Exploration Permits in Australia (Update1)

By Angela Macdonald-Smith

March 5 (Bloomberg) — Royal Dutch Shell Plc, the world’s second-biggest oil company by market value, won two exploration permits off the northwestern coast of Australia as it intensifies a search for natural gas supplies for LNG production.

A venture between Shell and Nexus Energy Ltd. won a permit in the Eastern Browse Basin, while a Chevron Corp.-led venture including Shell and Exxon Mobil Corp. won a permit in the Carnarvon Basin, Shell’s Australian unit said today in an e- mailed statement.

Shell, a partner in Chevron’s proposed $10.4 billion Gorgon liquefied natural gas project, is boosting exploration for gas in Australia with plans to drill about 15 or more wells this year, up from about 10 last year and two in 2005. Shell is the world’s biggest non-government-owned producer of LNG.

“Australia is an important part of our regional and global growth aspirations for gas, and will help us sustain our leading LNG position around the world,” Chris Gunner, Shell Development (Australia) chief operating officer, said in the statement. The award of the AC/P41 permit to Shell and Nexus strengthens the companies’ partnership at the Crux gas and condensates field, he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Angela Macdonald-Smith in Sydney at [email protected] .

Last Updated: March 4, 2007 20:29 EST

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