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New seismic policy to stimulate petroleum exploration

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DPIE97/112P 10 February 1997


Changes in the way offshore petroleum data is released will help encourage large- scale non-exclusive three dim ensional (3-D) seismic surveys, the Federal M inister for Resources and Energy, Senator Warwick Parer, announced today.

"The ready availability of 3D seismic data encourages companies to explore areas offshore Australia and can lead to the earlier drilling of successful exploration wells," he said.

Senator Parer said that the policy applying under the Petroleum (Submerged Lands) Act, which provides for the public release of petroleum data, has been changed to allow contractors, and others w ishing to undertake non-exclusive surveys, to retain rights to 3-D data for extended periods.

"This will provide contractors w ith a substantial incentive to be more speculative w ith regards to 3-D surveys and to offer their data to perm it holders at reduced prices. And that has got to benefit the industry," he said.

"Three dim ensional seismic data is significantly m ore expensive to collect than conventional data but can be a m uch more useful and long lasting tool for petroleum explorers.

"Data from 3-D seismic surveys approved from today will rem ain confidential for eight years from the date it w as subm itted, provided:

• the data was recorded for the purpose of a non-exclusive sale;

• two dim ensional (2-D) data derived from the 3-D data set is also subm itted (on a two kilometre square grid). The 2-D data could be released after the m inim um release period specified by the Act, and;

• purchasers of the 3-D data are free to reprocess the data.

Senator Parer said that 3-D seismic data purchased by a perm it holder m ay be counted to the extent that the survey met in part, or in full, the original w ork program com m itm ent and w as recorded after the date on which the Joint A uthority and the perm ittee had agreed on the w ork program commitment.



"Contractors undertaking non-exclusive seismic surveys perform an im portant role in m aking inform ation available for A ustralia's exploration and developm ent in d u stry /' Senator Parer said.

"They also stim ulate interest in offshore petroleum acreage which helps increase investm ent in the industry."

Further inform ation:

Senator Parer's office DPIE

Bob Baudino Ted Reisz

(06) 277 7440 (06) 272 4148