Australian Oil and Gas Discoveries show promise

19 April 2002

Gas and oil discoveries by Australia's offshore petroleum exploration industry continue to show promise, according to figures released today by Geoscience Australia.

Australian Petroleum Exploration Development Activity 1 October to 31 December 2001 showed the industry achieved the second highest number of gas and oil discoveries since 1990.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources, Warren Entsch, said 35 petroleum discoveries were made during 2001, of which 14 were offshore discoveries.

"The high level of discoveries in 2001 follows the previous year's level of 31 discoveries, of which 22 were offshore, the highest number of offshore discoveries ever recorded," Mr Entsch said.

"This continuing high rate of discovery is encouraging, particularly for the gas industry where further discoveries in emerging areas have been made.

"The large Blacktip gas discovery in the southern part of the Bonaparte Basin will further add to resources in the area. The two Otway Basin gas discoveries at Thylacine and Geographe have the potential to alter the gas supply market for southeast Australia."

The most significant oil finds were at Audacious in the Ashmore/Cartier area of the Timor Sea and at Cliff Head in the Perth Basin. Mr Entsch noted, however, that these are not considered large oil discoveries in comparison to those needed for sustained oil production in Australia.

"It is particularly pleasing to note that the level of offshore exploration activity is continuing above average levels and onshore exploration drilling is showing signs of revival following a number of years of low activity," Mr Entsch said.

Copies of the Australian Petroleum Exploration and Development Activity report are available free of charge from our Sales Centre.

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