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Oil and gas exploration at record level.

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Warren Entsch, MP

Parliamentary Secretary to the

Minister for Industry, Science and Resources


17 February 1999





Australia’s offshore exploration for oil and gas achieved record levels durin g 1998, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry, Science and Resources, Warren Entsch, announced today.


New figures on the level of petroleum exploration in the past year were released today in the Australian Petroleum Exploration and Development Activity report by the Australian Geological Survey Organisation (AGSO).


“A record level of offshore exploration drilling and seismic survey data acquisition was achieved despite the continuing worldwide low oil price,” Mr Entsch said.


“The lower oil price presents a great challenge for maintaining levels and has lead industry to predict reduced exploration in 1999.


“By the end of 1998, industry had drilled 74 offshore exploration wells easily surpassing the previous record of 64 wells drilled in 1990.”


In addition, offshore seismic survey data acquisition is at record level and is twice that recorded during 1997, the previous record year.


“More than 960,000 line kilometres of offshore seismic survey were recorded, mostly in the Bonaparte, Browse and Carnarvon Basins off North West Australia,” Mr Entsch said.


“I am pleased to note that the high level of offshore drilling is supported by continuing oil and gas discoveries in offshore Northwestern Australia and the Bass Basin off Tasmania, and onshore mainly in the Cooper and Eromanga Basins of Queensland and South Australia.” (See attached map).


Important offshore oil and gas discoveries occurred in the Carnarvon Basin at Gipsy, Peck, Legendre South and at Vincent; in the Browse Basin at Caspar; in the Bonaparte Basin at Sunset West and Chuditch; and in the Bass Basin at White Ibis.


Onshore, small but important gas and oil discoveries were mainly made in the Cooper and Eromanga Basins and to a lesser extent in the Otway, Surat and Bonaparte Basins.


Copies of Australian Petroleum Exploration and Development Activity are available free of charge from the AGSO Sales Centre, GPO Box 378, Canberra, ACT, 2601, Australia, phone 02 6249 9519, fax 02 6249 9982.


Further information:

Mr Paul Everingham, Mr Entsch’s Office, 02 6277 4656 or 0409 866 462

Dr Paul Williamson, AGSO, 02 6272 5342

Mr Eugene Petrie, AGSO, 02 6272 4837


Media contact: Nadine Ashton, AGSO, 02 6249 9800