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New petroleum exploration permits awarded off Northern Australia.



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MEDIA RELEASE

SENATOR NICK MINCHIN

Minister for Industry, Science and Resources

 

17 September 1999

99/299

 

NEW PETROLEUM EXPLORATION PERMITS AWARDED OFF NORTHERN AUSTRALIA

 

The Minister for Industry, Science and Resources, Senator Nick Minchin, today announced the successful bidden for three new petroleum exploration permits off Northern Australia. The announcement was made jointly with the Northern Territory Minister for Resource Development, The Hon Darly Manzie.

 

The permits have been awarded to the following companies:

 

AC98-3 Indo-Pacific Energy Pty Ltd (operator)

Mosaic Oil NL

NT98-7 Canadian Petroleum International Holdings Limited

NT98-8 Canadian Petroleum International Holdings Limited

NT98-9 TSP Arafura Petroleum Pty Ltd

Oz-Exoil NL

 

“During th e next six years, the successful companies will spend an estimated $92.5 million on exploration in the areas”, Senator Minchin said. “This includes the drilling of six exploration wells and the acquisition of new data from 3450 line kilometres of two dimensional (2D) seismic surveying.

 

“The level of bidding was down from previous years, reflecting low oil prices earlier this year and the resulting reduction in company exploration budgets.”

 

Area AC98-3 is in the Bonaparte Basin, 15 km west of the recent Tenacious oil discovery, Areas NT98-7 to 9 are in the Money Shoals and Arafura Basins in the Arafura Sea.

 

Area AC98-3 has been awarded to a joint venture including companies which are currently in default of work commitments elsewhere. The procedures set down in the offshore petroleum legislation for dealing with default by those companies of their work commitments have not yet run their course. Accordingly, it would have been unreasonable to have taken their current default into consideration in the assessment of applications for this area.

 

Background notes regarding the successful applicants, their proposed work programs and a location map are attached.

 

Contact: Kate Harvey, Senator Minchin’s Office, 08 8237 7190 or 0418 213 243 Steve Payne, Dept of Industry, Science and Resources, 02 6213 7928

or 0418 115 806

 

CMR270

 

BACKGROUND NOTES

 

Applications for the permits were invited in March 1998 under the Petroleum (Submerged Lands) Act 1967 and closed on 18 February 1999.

 

Under the work program bidding system, applicants are required to nominate a guaranteed minimum ‘dry hole’ 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.

 

Area AC98-3 has been awarded to a consortium consisting of Indo-Pacific Energy Pty Ltd and Mosaic Oil NL. The consortium has proposed a guaranteed work program for the first three years of data reprocessing, 2D seismic acquisition and G&G studies at an estimated total cost of $0.11 million. They have also proposed a secondary program of re-evaluation and interpretation of seismic data, 2D seismic acquisition and one well for an estimated total expenditure of $6.07 million. There were no other bids for this area.

 

Area NT98 - 7 has been awarded to Canadian Petroleum International Holdings Limited . The company has proposed a guaranteed work program for the first three years of technical review, 900km of new 2D seismic acquisition and G&G studies at an estimated total cost of $2.25 million. The company has also proposed a secondary program of two wells and G&G studies at an estimated total expenditure of $33.6 million. There were no other bids for this area.

 

Area NT98-8 has been awarded to Canadian Petroleum International Holdings Limited. The company has proposed a guaranteed work program for the first three years of technical review, 900km of new 2D seismic acquisition and G&G studies at an estimated total cost of $2.25 million. The company has also proposed a secondary program of two wells and G&G studies at an estimated total expenditure of $33.6 million. There were no other bids for this area.

 

Area NT98-9 has been awarded to a consortium consisting of TSP Arafura Petroleum Pty Ltd and Oz-Exoil NL. The consortium has proposed a guaranteed work program for the first three years of investigation, mapping, seismic reprocessing, studies and 1150km of new 2D seismic acquisition at an estimated total cost of $1.95 million. They have also proposed a secondary program of data re-evaluation, 500km of new 2D seismic acquisition and one well at an estimated total expenditure of $12.75 million. There were no other bids for this area.

 

Area NT98-10 received one bid. The offer of a permit was subsequently declined.

 

Areas AC98-1 and AC98-2 each received one bid which were subsequently withdrawn.

 

Areas AC98-4 and AC98-5 each received one bid. The work program for these bids were considered insufficient to justify the award of permits.

 

The locations of the permits are shown on the attached map.

 

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