South Australia Awards Six New Licences in the Cooper and Otway Basins
The South Australian Department for Energy & Mining has announced the successful bids for five new Petroleum Exploration Licences (PELs) located in the Cooper basin and one in the Otway basin, as part of the 2019 petroleum exploration acreage release announced last September.
Successful applicants for the five new Cooper basin licenses include Leigh Creek Energy Ltd., Cordillo Energy Pty Ltd. (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Oilex Ltd.), Gidgee Energy Pty Ltd., and Vintage Energy Ltd. License OT2019-B in the Otway basin has been offered jointly to subsidiaries of Beach Energy Ltd. and Cooper Energy Ltd.
The awarded Cooper basin blocks cover a combined area of approximately 13,582 sq. km and offer a myriad of conventional and unconventional oil & gas plays, with potential for Warburton basin plays. The Otway basin licence covers approximately 1,923 sq. km, with early Cretaceous oil & gas potential.
Successful bids were determined on the basis of the quality of the applicants’ five-year work programs, the adequacy of their financial resources, technical expertise, and their ability to meet their commitments and satisfactorily undertake the proposed work. The total work program for the awarded blocks is valued at A$59.1 million over the next five years.
Dan van Holst Pellekaan, Minister for Energy & Mining, stated that there are great opportunities to ramp up exploration activities as South Australia eases Covid-19 restrictions.
The applicants require further regulatory approvals to conduct any exploratory activity on the awarded blocks in an assessment process. The Cooper basin applicants are also required to engage with native title parties and the South Australian government to develop access agreements.
“The successful licence holders are required by law to engage meaningfully with relevant landowners, stakeholders, and the community during the life of a project, including project planning, negotiating land access, and decommissioning,” added Dan van Holst Pellekaan.