• Industry Summary
    The offshore Taranaki Maari oil field has started flowing a week after production was halted following two minor oil spills ...

  • Permit Updates and Changes
    In the Sydney Basin, PEL 454 was renewed to 27/03/2013

Industry Summary

Company News

The offshore Taranaki Maari oil field has started flowing a week after production was halted following two minor oil spills at the floating production, storage and offtake vessel Raroa. Operator OMV said that field production had restarted on 27/11/2010, following confirmation that the oil sheen seen on November 20th was due to a small amount of residual oil trapped beneath the Raroaís hull. It said production was shut down on November 20th as a precautionary measure and that a thorough review, including divers examining parts of the vesselís hull, was subsequently undertaken in consultation with government regulatory authority Maritime New Zealand. OMV said it was now known that the residual oil noticed on November 20th was the result of an earlier incident, on October 18th, when oil was noticed on the water near Raroa during de-ballasting operations. OMV said divers had now cleaned the affected area of the Raroa and production had resumed.  (Source: PetroleumNews, 30/11/2010).

Peak Oil & Gas
has cancelled plans to list on the Australian Securities Exchange after receiving a takeover offer from uranium explorer Raisama valuing Peak at $39 million, or 30 cents a share. (Source:
PetroleumNews, 26/11/2010).

Victoria Petroleumís
shareholders voted in favour of a name change and adjustments to its status and constitution to reflect a focus on growth as a diversified energy company. In October, VicPet announced it was planning to change its name to Senex Energy to provide a more accurate reflection of the business, and move from being a No Liability company to a company limited by shares. Shareholders approved the changes at the companyís annual general meeting on 26/11/2010
. (Source: PetroleumNews, 29/11/2010).

Victoria Petroleum is moving to block Beach Energyís acquisition of Impress Energy with its recent on-market acquisition of Impress shares increasing its stake to 20%. The company, which will be renamed Senex Energy, said its plan was to vote against the Beach takeover. However, Victoria Petroleum noted it had no intention of making a competing bid and will not be seeking to increase its shareholding beyond 20%.  In response to Victoria Petroleumís acquisition of a 20% stake in Impress Energy, Beach launched a revised all-cash takeover bid for Impress Energy of 8.5c per share, up from the previous offer of 8.25c, which values Impress at $75 million. The offer closes on 24/01/2011.
(Source: PetroleumNews, 06/12/2010, Victoria Petroleum ASX Announcement, 01/12/2010).

Chinaís CNOOC has increased its investment in Australiaís unconventional gas resources with a $50 million farm-in to Exoma Energyís five Galilee Basin permits. Under the terms of the farm-in, Chinaís largest offshore oil and gas producer will acquire a 50% interest in ATP 991P, ATP 996P, ATP 999P, ATP 1005P and ATP 1008P in the central Queensland Galilee Basin by contributing $50 million towards exploration and appraisal expenditure. CNOOC also has an option to acquire 86.6 million ordinary shares in Exoma at 31.5c per share, representing a $27 million investment in the company
. (Source: PetroleumNews, 09/12/2010).

Development News

Beach Energy and Japanís Itochu Corporation have identified several potential sites for their proposed mid-scale liquefied natural gas project in South Australia. The proposed $1 billion facility would be capable of producing 1 million tonnes of LNG per annum and would require about 60 petajoules of gas per year. LNG produced at the plant will be exported into Far East markets. Beach plans to feed the LNG plant from its gas resources in the Cooper Basin and Victoria, which currently stand at more than 1.4 trillion cubic feet. (Source: PetroleumNews, 25/11/2010).

Energy services company Wood Group will provide long-term engineering services to support Eni Australiaís assets including Blacktip, Woollybutt and the upcoming Kitan development. Under the contract, which will be carried out at Wood Groupís Perth and Darwin offices, the company will provide engineering services, project management and control, planning and document and data management. Wood Group said the contract builds on the companyís comprehensive maintenance services contract that provides support for the Blacktip gas development
. (Source: PetroleumNews, 26/11/2010).

has signed water management contracts with GE Betz and Laing OíRourke Construction for a water treatment plant and associated facilities near Chinchilla, Queensland. Laing OíRourke will build the plant, which will have eventual capacity of up to 100 megalitres a day, while GE will provide technical expertise and process equipment such as advanced ultra-filtration; ion exchange; reverse osmosis; and brine concentration technology, as well as initial services when the plant is operating. The facilities, an integral part of QGCís plans to develop coal seam gas for the domestic market and for export as liquefied natural gas, will cost more than $350 million and will treat water produced as a by-product of producing CSG
. (Source: PetroleumNews, 29/11/2010).

Woodside Petroleum has announced an expected delay in the start-up of its Pluto Liquefied Natural Gas project by six months to August 2011, with costs increasing by 6.9% to $14 billion. The company said the delay was due to the failure of the projectís flare tower contractor to take into account the specified wind loading requirement of the flare towers. Woodside added it had chosen to replace the flare towers after considering several remedial options, and would put up a temporary flare tower to assist during commissioning
. (Source: PetroleumNews, 30/11/2010).


Spar 2
well in WA-4-R in the Carnarvon Basin has flowed gas at a rate of 58 million cubic feet per day, confirming the potential of the Spar field. Associated condensate production of 16 barrels per MMcf of gas was also recorded from the 55 metres of net gas pay in the primary target Upper Barrow reservoir. Santos said with the larger than estimated gas pay at Spar 2, the recoverable resource in the field is expected to be greater than the 335 petajoules it had previously estimated. Spar 2 had also intersected about 40 metres of net gas pay over several sands within the deeper B Reticulatum zone. A drill stem test over a 12 metre section flowed 5MMcfd as well as condensate production of 6bbl per MMcf of gas. Spar 2 is expected to be tied back to Varanus Island through the Halyard development. Earlier this year, Apache and Santos confirmed plans to develop the Halyard field in WA-13-L in the Carnarvon Basin as a domestic gas project for Western Australia. Halyard is expected to be online in mid-2011 at an initial rate of 50 terajoules per day. (Source: PetroleumNews, 25/11/2010).

Woodside Petroleum has had some welcome news for its Pluto liquefied natural gas project expansion with a new gas discovery in WA-404-P of the Carnarvon Basin. The Remy 1 well intersected 33 metres and 39 metres of gross gas over two separate zones within the Triassic target with wireline logging being carried out to obtain pressure and gas samples. Remy 1 was drilled to a depth of 4,555 metres with the Ocean America semi-submersible and successfully appraised the Martell gas discovery 500 metres away. (Source:
PetroleumNews, 26/11/2010).

The petrophysical assessment of wireline logs from the Backreef 1 well by Oil Basins and Weatherford found the zone between 915-965 metres within the Yellow Drum equivalent/Gumhole formations has a possible reservoir interval of around 48.9 metres with possible net pay of 39.2 metres. The assessment also found the Lower Laurel formation from 894-910 metres is predominantly a tight limestone and likely to be the effective seal for the hydrocarbon trap delineated by Backreef 1. The company is now planning to specifically target the new oil play for rapid production assessment late in the second quarter of next year by either drilling low-cost shallow exploration wells or re-entering and stimulating Backreef 1. (Source:
PetroleumNews, 29/11/2010).

Permit Updates and Changes

New South Wales

In the Sydney Basin, PEL 454 was renewed to 27/03/2013.

Also in the Sydney Basin, the PEP 11 participants have applied for a permit extension to 03/01/2012. On completion of the New Seaclem 1 well, Asset Energy will have increased its interest from 25% to 85%.

In the Gunnedah Basin, PEL 428 was renewed to 14/09/2012.

In the Sydney Basin, AGL's interest in PEL 4, PEL 5, PEL 267, PPL 1, PPL 2, PPL 4, PPL 5 and PPL 6 was transferred to AGL Upstream Investments P/L, 100%.

Geothermal Permits

In the Sydney Basin, EL 6212 was renewed until 19/12/2011.


Northern Territory

In the Amadeus Basin, EP 105 and EP 106 have had their expiry date extended to 27/12/2013.

In the Wiso Basin, the area of application EP(A) 198 has been revised.

In the Bonaparte Basin, NT/P 66 was surrendered on 24/11/2010.


Drillsearch has purchased 100% of the following Circumpacific Queensland tenements in the Cooper and Eromanga Basins subsequent to the sale of its 79.37% in Circumpacific to Western Petroleum Commodities: ATP 917P, ATP 920P, ATP 924P, ATP 926P, ATP 932P, ATP 940P, ATP 956P and ATP 959P.

PL 445 is a new production licence application by Australia Pacific LNG P/L in the Surat Basin.

In the Galilee Basin, ATP 1015P and ATP 1044P were granted to Queensland Energy Resources Ltd on 25/11/2010.  Both licences will expire on 30/11/2022. Unsuccessful applications ATP 1013P, ATP 1014P, ATP 1016P, ATP 1017P, ATP 1018P, ATP 1019P, ATP 1045P and ATP 1046P over the same areas were refused.

Also in the Galilee Basin, renewal application for ATP 578P has been withdrawn and the licence has expired.

In the Surat Basin, applications ATP 1059P and ATP 1060P were not granted. The areas revert to vacant acreage.

Also in the
Surat Basin, Victoria Petroleum is assuming operatorship of ATP 593P and ATP 771P FO (Don Juan CSG farm-out).

In the Eromanga Basin, renewal of ATP 543P and ATP 543P S (South Block) was refused. Participants have a right of appeal which is currently being considered.

Also in the Eromanga Basin, no final decision has been made on the relinquishment of ATP 587P.  Tangiers Petroleum is currently seeking farm-in partners.

In the Bowen Basin, ATP 722P has undergone partial relinquishment and now covers a reduced area of 570 sq km.

In the Eromanga Basin, application ATP 895P was not granted.

In the Surat Basin, Bounty Oil & Gas has acquired 24.25% from Interstate Energy P/L in PL 2 A and PL 2 B and 36.5% in PL 2 C.

Interest in following production licence applications has been transferred from Rio Doce Australia P/L to Vale Belvedere P/L (both are 100% subsidiaries of Vale SA): PL 269, PL 270, PL 271, PL 290, PL 291 and PL 292.

BG Groupís interest in the following licences has been transferred to BG International (Aust) P/L: ATP 768P, ATP 852P, PL 299, PL 397, PL 398, PL 399, PL 400, PL 401 and PL 402.

Geothermal Permits

In the Galilee Basin, geothermal permit applications EPG 1 and EPG 2 were not granted.

South Australia

The following petroleum exploration licences have had their expiry dates extended -

Licence           Basin               Expiry Date

PEL 113          
Cooper              30/04/2014
PEL 118           Arckaringa         01/10/2012
PEL 119           Arckaringa         01/10/2012

In the Murray Basin, PEL 174 was granted on 24/11/2010 to Energy Exploration Ltd 100%. The licence will expire on 23/11/2015. Work program details are not yet available.

Also in the Murray Basin, PEL 558 was granted on 15/11/2015 to Liberty Resources Ltd 100%. The licence will expire on 15/11/2015. Work program is as follows -

Year 1 - G&G studies
Year 2 - G&G studies
Year 3 - G&G studies
Year 4 - G&G studies
Year 5 - 1 well

Geothermal Permits

In the Otway Basin, GEL 170 was renewed until 23/07/2015 over a reduced area.

In the Arrowie Basin,
GEL 208 and part of GEL 181 were consolidated under GEL 181 with the total area of 1,307 sq km. GEL 208 was revoked.

In the Cooper Basin, Geodynamics has agreed to acquire 100% in GEL 268 from Clean Energy Australasia P/L in exchange for 1,500,000 fully paid shares in Geodynamics.


SEL 5/2005 has undergone partial relinquishment and now covers a reduced area of 7,167 sq km.

In the Bass Basin, Beach has withdrawn from T/38P FO farm-out area and is finalising documentation for its withdrawal from T/39P that is being renewed.

Also in the Bass Basin, T/18P is being renewed.

Geothermal Permits

SEL 45/2007
has undergone partial relinquishment and now covers reduced area of 483 sq km.


2010 Gazettals VIC/O 10-1 and VIC/O 10-2 in the Otway Basin closed for bids on 18/11/2010 and are currently under consideration.

In the Gippsland Basin, PEP 170 was granted on 19/10/2010 to Icon Energy Ltd.  The licence expires on 13/10/2015.

Western Australia

The following 2010 Gazettals that closed in November 2010 received no bids and were cancelled -

Gazettal                       Basin

L 10-1                          
T 10-1                           Perth
W 10-1                          Petrel Sub
W 10-11                        Dampier
W 10-12                        Dampier
W 10-13                        Dampier
W 10-15                        Barrow
W 10-17                        Barrow

In the Carnarvon Basin, WA-452-P (formerly gazettal area W 09-13) was granted to Riverina Energy 100%, on 30/11/2010. The licence will expire on 29/11/2016. Work Program is as follows -

Year 1 - geotechnical studies - $0.15m
Year 2 - 150k 2D seismic reprocessing - $0.2m
Year 3 - 105k 2D seismic - $2.8m
Year 4 - geotechnical studies - $0.15m
Year 5 - 1 exploration well - $9.95m
Year 6 - geotechnical studies - $0.2m

In the Bangemall Basin,
STP-EPA-0013 is under application by Pangaea Resources P/L.

In the Perth Basin, Empire Oil Company (WA) entered into a farm-in agreement with Cottesloe Oil & Gas P/L (COG) where COG will pay 37.5% of the cost of the drilling of the Red Gully 1 well and the completion and testing costs to earn 18.75% in EP 389. Empire will retain 50% and will pay 31.25% of the costs of drilling, completing and testing the well. Empire will also be entitled to 68.75% of the Gingin West 1 Gas and Condensate production, up to $1,968.750 before COG are entitled to their production. Following the COG farm-in the interests in EP 389 will be: Empire Oil Company (WA) Ltd (operator) 50%, ERM Gas P/L 21.25%, Cottesloe Oil & Gas P/L 18.75% and Wharf Resources Plc 10%.

In the Perth Basin, WA-286-P was relinquished on 30/11/2010.

In the Exmouth Basin, WA-369-P was relinquished.

Also in the Perth Basin, Empire Oil withdrew its application to relinquish EP 430.

In the Canning Basin, Oil Basins has acquired Backreef Oilís 10% interest in the Backreef area L 6 BR.

In the Browse Basin, Karoon Gas will acquire an additional 50% in WA-314-P from its JV partner, ConocoPhillips (Browse Basin) P/L.  After the completion of the transaction the interests will be: Karoon Gas Browse Basin P/L 90%, ConocoPhillips (Browse Basin) P/L (operator) 10%.

In the Exmouth Basin, Apache Northwest P/L is farming into WA-388-P and will obtain a 40% interest by paying 100% of the first exploration well and test costs (up to an agreed cap). Apache will replace Oilex as the permit operator. The interest split after farm in will be: Oilex Ltd 8.4%, Apache Northwest P/L 40%, Sasol Petroleum Australia Ltd 18%, Videocon Industries Ltd 8.4%, Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation 8.4%, BharatPetroresources Ltd 8.4% and Hindustan Petroleum Corp 8.4%.

Santos Offshore P/L has entered into a farm-in agreement with Octanex. Under the terms of agreement, Santos will earn 75% in WA-323-P and WA-330-P by conducting a new 3D survey across both permits, drilling one well in the first three years of the renewed term of WA-323-P and reimbursing Octanex for prior seismic and associated expenditure in both permits. The farm-in agreement is subject to the usual regulatory approvals.

DR 9 in the Canning Basin has had its expiry date extended to 19/12/2011.

WA-343-P in the Browse Basin has had its expiry date extended to 10/09/2011.  Year 6 of the work program has been varied to -
Year 6
- 235k 3D seismic reprocessing, 285k new 3D seismic survey - $4m

WA-359-P in the Carnarvon Basin has had its expiry date extended to 30/01/2012.  Year 6 of the work program has been varied to -
Year 6 - 1,212k new 3D seismic survey - $8.53m.

In the Barrow Basin, WA-329-P is being renewed.

In the Exmouth Basin, WA-348-P is being renewed.

In the Carnarvon Basin, WA-361-P is being renewed.

New Zealand

In the East Coast Basin, APP 52694 was granted as PEP 52694 to East Coast Energy Ventures Ltd 100%. The licence will expire on 23/11/2015. Unsuccessful application APP 52698 over the same area was cancelled. Work program is as follows -

12 months - 86k 2D seismic, geochemical sampling, technical studies, commit or surrender
24 months - 20k 2D seismic, technical studies, geochemical sampling, other activity, commit or surrender
36 months - 1 exploration well, commit or surrender
48 months - technical studies, other activity, 2 exploration wells, 75k 2D seismic, commit or surrender
60 months - technical studies, other activity, 2 exploration wells, 75k 2D seismic, other activity

APP 53239 is a new application over 93 sq km in the Otago basin by Greywolf Goldmining NL 95% (operator) and Golden Bush Mining 5%.

Offshore in the Taranaki Basin, TAG Oil (Offshore) Ltd has taken 20% previously held by Mighty River Power Gas Investments Ltd in PEP 52181.

Papua New Guinea

The following exploration permits applications have been removed from the updated petroleum permits map provided by PNG Department of Petroleum & Energy -

Application                  Applicant                    

APPL 308
                     OilCore P/L
APPL 348                     Saimangec Holdings Ltd
APPL 360                     GTS (PNG) Ltd
APPL 361                     GTS (PNG) Ltd
APPL 362                     GTS (PNG) Ltd

The following exploration permit applications in the Papuan Basin have been granted.  Grant and expiry dates for these licences are being confirmed -

Application                  Licence                        Area sq km

APPL 311                     PPL 311                         
APPL 317                     PPL 317                         
APPL 318                     PPL 318                            
APPL 337
                     PPL 337                           5,826
APPL 340                     PPL 340                          

The following exploration permit applications were added to GPinfo this month -

Application                  Applicant                                 Area sq km

APPL 334                    
Samchang PNG Ltd                        4,788
APPL 354                     Pento Oil (PNG) Ltd                        6,100
APPL 355                     Pento Oil (PNG) Ltd                        7,903
APPL 358                     Coral Sea Petroleum Ltd                  5,691
APPL 364                     New Ports Holding 2 (PNG) Ltd       16,682
APPL 366                     Coral Sea Petroleum Ltd                  1,279
APPL 367                     Coral Sea Petroleum Ltd                  1,365

Note:  The areas of these applications are currently being verified with PNG Department of Petroleum & Energy as some the applications overlap each other and/or existing granted licences

The area of PPL 339 was extended. The licence area is being verified with PNG Department of Petroleum & Energy as it appears to overlap existing exploration permit PPL 338.

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