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Petroleum releases should fuel operators’ interest

THREE recent State water petroleum acreage releases are expected to attract significant interest from local and international operators.

Close to major discoveries and established production facilities on Barrow and Varanus Islands and the Burrup Peninsula, the releases are expected to attract the attention of companies already holding interests in the region.

All three areas are on the North West Shelf, part of the Northern Carnarvon Basin.

A gas pipeline runs through the southern tip of one of these areas just north of Barrow Island and, although near a major oil field, the area is considered most prospective for gas.

The other two permit areas are within 50 kilometres of the Port of Dampier and in comparatively shallow waters.

Exploration permits will be awarded on a competitive basis, according to work and expendi-ture programs submitted by companies.

Applicants are required to demonstrate they have both the financial capability and technical expertise to execute these programs and also must submit details of their current operations and commitments.

Consortiums must convince the Department of Mineral and Petroleum Resources they can remain viable for the term of a permit.

The work programs, including geophysical surveying and drilling, are for an initial six years and any granted exploration permit carries the right to convert this to a production title or retention lease, depending on discoveries made.

DMPR director of petroleum Bill Tinapple says most State releases usually attract no more than three applicants per region.

Bids close at the end of Feb-

ruary 2002, and the DMPR’s recommendations will go to State Development Minister Clive Brown.

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