Oil and Gas News

SA Government boosts exploration opportunities

Cooper basin

The South Australian Government has awarded five companies with five new petroleum exploration licenses in the Otway and Cooper Basins.

SA Resources Minister Dan van Holst Pelelkaan said the strong industry response to the acreage release highlighted the agility and resilience of Australian exploration companies.

Beach Energy, Cooper Energy, Vintage Energy, Armour Energy and Leigh Creek Energy (LCK) have been allocated exploration acreage covering more than 15,000 square kilometres in state’s north-east and south-east regions.

Cooper Energy and Beach Energy have been awarded the onshore exploration permit petroleum exploration licence application (PELA) 680 in the Otway Basin, onshore South Australia.

The permit has been awarded to the joint venture (Cooper 30 per cent, Beach 70 per cent) for a five-year term, of which the first years have a guaranteed work program consisting of geologic and geophysical studies and seismic reprocessing.

PELA 680 covers 1932km2 and lies to the south of the Penola Trough gas fields, including the recent Dombey field gas discovery in the adjacent PEL 494 permit.

Armour Energy advised that Cordillo Energy has secured Block CO2019-3, petroleum exploration licence application (PELA) 677 (Block C) in the Northern flank of the Cooper Basin, South Australia.

Block C forms one of five hydrocarbon exploration licence blocks released for competitive bidding by the South Australian Department of Energy and Mining (DEM) in 2019.

Armour is set to acquire Cordillo, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Oilex, through a deal it secured with Oilex last month.

Block C is within the 27 petroleum retention licences (PRLs) in the Northern Oil and Gas Fairway, which is subject to acquisition from Senex Energy as part of the Oilex acquisition.

The award extends coverage of the area that has been identified as having high prospectivity, being near a number of discovered oil and gas fields.

Meanwhile, Vintage Energy has been successful in bidding for Block CO2019-E (PELA 679) (Block E) in the south west of the Cooper Basin.

With an appropriate land access agreement in place with the Dieri Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC and the state government, Vintage will have 100 per cent interest in the permit.

As a result, the company will also have the option to finance the firm work program through the potential introduction of a joint venture partner.

Vintage outlined that Block E has both Permian and Jurassic oil potential, with cumulative oil production of 4.5 million barrels of oil (MMbbl) from two nearby fields, one of which is the Worrior oil field (Senex Energy 70 per cent, Cooper Energy 30 per cent).

LCK has also been awarded two petroleum exploration licence applications. The two PELAs (675 and 676) were identified during the 2019 South Australian Cooper Basin acreage release by the Department for Energy and Mining, with both areas in the acreage release known as CO2019-A and CO2019-B.