01/11/2016 - 14:30

Forrest in Canning Basin exploration move

01/11/2016 - 14:30

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Mining entrepreneur Andrew Forrest has made a move into onshore oil and gas, with Squadron Resources, a subsidiary of his Minderoo Group, to explore and develop the Canning Basin in an 80:20 venture with privately owned Goshawk Energy.

Forrest in Canning Basin exploration move
Andrew Forrest made his fortune in iron ore, but has now made a move into onshore oil and gas. Photo: Attila Csaszar

Mining entrepreneur Andrew Forrest has made a move into onshore oil and gas, with Squadron Energy, a subsidiary of his Minderoo Group, to explore and develop the Canning Basin in an 80:20 venture with privately owned Goshawk Energy.

The two companies announced today they had submitted a series of applications for special prospecting authorities, which allow for preliminary exploration of areas through geochemical or geophysical surveys.

The permits will cover a region or around 220,000 square kilometres, about 40 per cent of the basin.

Around 260 trillion cubic feet of recovarable gas could be held in the basin, according to the state government, nearly eight times the initial reserves of the North West Shelf Venture.

That comes less than three months after Business News reported that about a fifth of the basin’s area was covered by active permits after around half of the permits for the region had been surrendered in recent years.

But it fits in with Squadron Resources’ strategy, which is countercyclical with a focus on undervalued projects.

Goshawk was founded in 2011 by former Woodside Petroleum Browse project general manager Andrew Leibovitch, and Arrow Energy general manager LNG Will Barker.

That company has two exploration licences in the Canning Basin and one on the North West Shelf, in addition to others in Queensland.

In a statement, the partners said exploration would start with airborne surveys.

“We regard this as a compelling opportunity to explore and develop in a highly promising area, and ultimately be part of Western Australia’s world-class energy sector,” they said. 

“Projects such as this have the potential to contribute significantly to the state’s economic success.”

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