Petroleum discoveries continue

05 September 2001

A high number of petroleum discoveries were made in the first half of this year according to the latest figures released today by AGSO – Geoscience Australia.

The report shows nine offshore and twelve onshore discoveries were made in the first half of 2001 – the second highest total in any first half year. This compares with last year's full year total of 31 discoveries. Significantly, fifteen of the discoveries so far this year were gas.

According to the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry, Science and Resources, Warren Entsch, this is an outstanding first half year effort by the industry at a time when there is still some uncertainty about exploration budgets.

"Gas discoveries at Thylacine and Geographe in the Otway Basin have the potential to alter the gas supply market for south-east Australia if they are commercially developed," said Mr Entsch.

Mr Entsch noted that the combined level of offshore and onshore exploration drilling activity was at its highest since the first half of 1998.

"It is particularly pleasing to note that the level of onshore exploration drilling is continuing to show signs of revival following quite a few years of low activity," he said.

Onshore development drilling is continuing at high levels with most completions occurring in the mature Cooper/Eromanga Basin of Queensland and South Australia.

Offshore, development drilling operations were completed at Stag, Goodwyn, Legendre and Yodel all in the Carnarvon Basin off Western Australia.

The Report also indicates that seismic survey activity, which underpins exploration drilling, increased onshore in South Australia and significantly in Tasmania. Offshore seismic acquisition decreased due to completion of large surveys off Southern Australia and Northwestern Australia.

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