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New offshore Tasmanian petroleum exploration permits awarded.



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Media Release The Hon Ian Macfarlane MP Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources

  22 August 2002 02/156

 

NEW OFFSHORE TASMANIAN PETROLEUM EXPLORATION PERMITS AWARDED   Successful bidders for two new petroleum exploration permits for areas off the Tasmanian coast are expected to spend about $47 million on exploration activities over the next six years.

The new permits, covering parts of the Sorell Basin in Commonwealth waters off the west coast of Tasmania, were jointly announced today by Federal Resources Minister, Ian Macfarlane, and the Tasmanian Minister for Infrastructure, Energy and Resources, Paul Lennon.

Permit T/32P was awarded to Santos Limited (50%) and Unocal South Asean Ltd (50%); and permit T/33P was awarded to Santos Limited (80%) and Inpex Alpha Ltd (20%). Both permits will be operated by Santos.

"Award of the permits will lead to a significant advance in exploration of the Sorell Basin. Located off the west coast of Tasmania, this is one of the least explored offshore basins in south-east Australia," Mr Macfarlane said.

The permittees have committed to undertake exploration activities that are appropriate to the frontier nature of the Sorell Basin.

"Any commercial discoveries of petroleum in the permits will play an important role in meeting the future energy needs of nearby markets in south-east Australia," he said.

The areas covered by the permits were included in the 2001 release of offshore petroleum exploration areas and the award of the permits follows assessment of bids received in April 2002.

Contacts: John Griffiths, Department of Industry Tourism and Resources, 02 6213 7928

Carol Bacon, Mineral Resources Tasmania, 03 6233 8326

Kirsty Boazman, Minister Macfarlane's office, 02 6277 7580 or 0412 171 444

CMR02-211

BACKGROUND NOTE

Applications for the areas were invited under the Petroleum (Submerged Lands) Act 1967 and closed on 11 April 2002.

Under the work program bidding system used, applicants are required to nominate a guaranteed minimum exploration program for each of the first three years of the permit term and a 'secondary' program for the remaining three years. Each component of the program must be completed in the designated year or earlier. Permits are awarded for an initial term of six years.

Petroleum exploration and development activity in these areas will benefit from the application of the profits-related petroleum resource rent tax. Royalty and crude oil excise will not apply.

Permit T/32P (originally released as area T01-1) has been awarded to Santos Ltd (50%) and Unocal South Asean (50%) which had proposed a guaranteed work program for the first three years of a 500km 2D seismic survey and geological and geophysical studies at an estimated cost of $2.8m. The permittees also proposed a

secondary program of a 1000km 2D seismic survey, a well and geological and geophysical studies, at an estimated cost of $23.9m. There were no other bids for the area.

Permit T/33P (originally released as area T01-3) has been awarded to Santos Ltd (80%) and Inpex Alpha (20%). The permittees proposed a guaranteed program for the first three years of a 300km 2D seismic survey and geological and geophysical studies at an estimated cost of $2.9m. They also proposed a secondary program of a well and geological and geophysical studies at an estimated cost of $18m. There were no other bids for the area.   CMR02-211  

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