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Asia Pulse: AUSTRALIAN GOVT AWARDS OIL/GAS EXPLORATION PERMITS

Published: Apr 03, 2007

CANBERRA, April 3 Asia Pulse – Energy companies will spend more than $A1 billion ($US815.55 million) seeking oil and gas off the Australian coast after the government awarded 12 new offshore petroleum exploration permits today.

Resources Minister Ian Macfarlane said the permits were for exploration areas off Western Australia, Tasmania and the Territory of Ashmore and Cartier Islands in the Indian Ocean.

“A record 52 bids were received for 20 of the 22 areas on offer,” he said in a statement.

“The successful bidders plan to invest more than $A1 billion ($US815.55 million) over the next six years pursuing Australian oil and gas opportunities.”

Mr Macfarlane said Australia was experiencing a major push by local and global explorers focused on low-risk, large-volume gas projects to serve the Asia-Pacific energy market.

“Explorers are responding positively to the range of federal government measures introduced to encourage offshore petroleum exploration,” he said.

The permits have gone to:

* Hess Exploration Australia Pty Ltd, Chevron Australia Pty Ltd, Shell Development (Australia) Pty Ltd and Mobil Australia Resources Company Pty Ltd, and Octanex NL and Strata Resources NL to explore in the Exmouth Plateau in the Carnarvon Basin, off Western Australia.

* OMV Australia Pty Ltd, Sweetpea Petroleum Pty Ltd, and Holloman Corporation to explore in the Barrow Sub-basin in the Carnarvon Basin, off Western Australia.

* Origin Energy Resources Ltd, Tap (Shelfal) Pty Ltd, SPC Production Company Limited and Jubilant Energy Limited, and Rawson Resources Ltd and Hardie Infrastructure Pty Ltd to explore in the Bass Basin, off Tasmania.

* Great Artesian Oil and Gas Limited to explore in the Southern Platform in the Gippsland Basin, off Tasmania.

* Shell Development (Australia) Pty Ltd and Nexus Energy Limited to explore in the Northern Browse Basin off the Territory of Ashmore and Cartier Islands.

* Coogee Resources (Ashmore Cartier) Pty Ltd to explore in the Vulcan Sub-basin in the Bonaparte Basin, off the Territory of Ashmore and Cartier Islands.

(AAP)

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