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ABSTRACT: Western Australian opportunities for exploration and production

Bruce, Richard H. , Department of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia, East Perth, Australia

Vast areas of onshore Western Australia have petroleum potential but currently were not attracting the same international attention as offshore areas, where active exploration has yielded further new discoveries and increased production. In 1964 oil (over 1 billion barrels) was discovered in the Carnarvon Basin at Barrow Island. The onshore Carnarvon Basin also produces gas. Onshore commercial discoveries were made in the Canning Basin (oil) and Perth Basin (gas and oil) in times of more active exploration. A subcommercial gas discovery was made in recent years in the onshore Bonaparte Basin. In the Officer Basin oil and gas has been encountered in coreholes. A number of onshore discoveries are being reevaluated with a view to commercial production.

The State government is continuing its program of deregulating and privatising the energy market and its infrastructure. Markets for petroleum are growing in Australia and the neighbouring region. Western Australia is a resource-rich State and has a significant role in the mining world. Mining customers can contract directly with gas suppliers. The gas pipeline grid is continuing to expand.

Exploration acreage is available through numerous farmin opportunities in permits held by existing company players and also through work program bidding for areas gazetted by the State.

In support of the exploration effort the State conducts basin studies and after a confidentiality period makes petroleum data available to industry. Groundwork is being laid to attract the interest of exploration companies to take up the challenge of exploring this vast State's underexplored areas.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90913©2000 AAPG International Conference and Exhibition, Bali, Indonesia