Electricity gets a little exciting

PERTH Basin developments in the next few months are expected to add to the pool of companies looking at generating electricity in a reformed WA market.

Empire Oil & Gas, in partnership with CalEnergy (UK), part of the US power producer CalEnergy group, is waiting to drill the Eclipse prospect 50 kilometres north of Perth and close to the Parmelia gas pipeline.

The Parmelia line, uncompressed, has spare capacity of 70 million cubic feet per day and Empire Oil & Gas managing director Craig Marshall says Empire is sitting on a good opportunity to change the Western Australian energy market, to both supply gas and produce electricity from a regional gas-fired station.

Hardman Resources partner in the Woodada gas field, Bounty Oil and Gas, says it has talked of gas-fired generation in a preliminary way, but not yet looked closely at it. However, Bounty managing director Tom Fontaine said while the company was still determining its reserves, he expected it would take a pretty close look at generation within the next year.

Arc Energy, which, with joint venture partner and eastern states power generator, retailer and trader Origin Energy, plans to drill Hovea-2 in the Hovea oil field mid-month, says it is focusing on being an explorer and producer.

But Arc executive director commercial Alex Forcke says the company would look at teaming up with a partner to compete in the generation market should it make more sizeable gas finds in excess of what it could sell to commercial customers.

Sydney-based Australia Worldwide Exploration – in partnership with Origin Energy in the producing Beharra Springs field – has an agreement to sell gas to Origin Retail from the Yolla field in the Bass Basin. Australian World-wide Exploration’s Yolla partner CalEnergy likewise has a sales and purchase with Origin Retail.

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