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Seaport shake-up

POTENTIALLY high margins are luring small companies to projects that could fuel new power supplies for WA’s far north and remote inland areas.

One group of companies has focused a lot of energy this year into proving up a gas supply on tidal flats near Derby.

Customer-in-waiting, Maurice Brand’s The Power Place, is keen to purchase any commercial gas to supply a potential Derby liquefied natural gas plant from which LNG could be trucked to numerous proposed Kimberley mining developments.

“We’ve discussed a memorandum of understanding if drilling goes ahead and there is sufficient gas,” he said.

“But it’s very early days yet.”

Nonetheless, The Power Place is enthusiastic, helping arrange for an investor to farm in to the project, and holding discussions with town-sites and mining companies.

Bevan Warriss, through his company Gulliver Productions, is planning the gas appraisal project, but needs more partners.

A bevy of oil and gas companies, already in on the exploration permit, EP 104, are keen to maintain some interest, at least through to the drilling of Point Torment-2.

All partners were hoping the well would be drilled by November, however, if the costs are not covered in time they may have to wait until May next year – the end of the wet season.

Voyager Energy managing director John Begg confirmed the chance to supply cheaper energy to remote communities spelt high margins for the venture, if successful.

The company will retain a 30 per cent interest in the permit.

“A lot of work has gone into this project this year, because the gas can be sold at the wellhead,” Mr Begg said.

“If we prove it up – and it has a pretty good chance of being proven – it is very valuable gas.”

The companies already in on the project include Bounty Oil & Gas, First Australian Resources, Gulliver Productions, Kimberley Oil, Pancontinental Oil & Gas and Voyager Energy.

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