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11 October 2000
Higher oil prices contribute to increased petroleum exploration in Australia
Australia's offshore oil and gas exploration is showing strong signs of increasing overall this year, despite some industry uncertainty during the last 12 months. The latest oil and petroleum exploration figures were released today by Warren Entsch, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry, Science and Resources.
"Higher oil prices have recently contributed to industry's revitalised interest in exploration," said Mr Entsch.
"In turn this has lead to an increased number of offshore exploration wells drilled off Northwestern Australia."
New figures on petroleum exploration and development activity in the first half of this year were released today in the Australian Petroleum Exploration and Development Activity, a periodical report by Geoscience Australia.
Mr Entsch said important offshore oil and gas discoveries are continuing in the Carnarvon, Bonaparte and Browse Basins off Northwestern Australia.
Recent discoveries at Dinichthys (gas) in the Browse Basin and Crux (gas/condensate) in the Bonaparte Basin by Japanese explorers will significantly contribute to the prospectivity of those areas and to Australia's gas reserves.
"Offshore exploration drilling in the first half of this year has risen above the average level drilled in the equivalent period for the last decade.
"Seismic survey acquisition, although low this quarter, is expected to increase and exceed last year's surveys. Most work is being conducted off Northwestern Australia."
It is expected the current high oil prices will continue and translate to increased company operating budgets and additional exploration activity, a healthy sign for Australia's oil and gas reserves.
Development work is currently continuing in the Gippsland Basin at the Bream field, in the Carnarvon Basin at the North Harriet, Harriet, Griffin and Tanami fields and in the Bonaparte Basin at the Jabiru, Challis and Puffin fields.
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