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Shell and Woodside have snapped up more than $300 million worth of petroleum exploration permits off the coast of Western Australia.
Minister for resources and energy Martin Ferguson said in a statement developing natural gas off WA would be good for the economy and boost Australia’s energy security.
“Continued exploration of offshore areas is required to maintain a robust offshore petroleum industry,” he said.
“These permits add greater momentum to offshore development, potentially reducing our dependence on fuel imports and strengthening our energy security.”
Apart from Shell and Woodside, Mitsui E&P, Cottesloe Oil and Gas, Strike Energy, WHL Energy, and Santos also shared in the release of the nine permits.
Three permits in the Rowley sub-basin will be explored by a joint venture between Woodside and Shell, who beat three other bidders.
A joint venture between Cottesloe Oil and Gas, Strike Energy, and WHL Energy beat another bidder to explore in the Exmouth sub-basin.
Santos was successful in a bid to explore the Petrel sub-basin off the coast of WA and the Northern Territory, while Woodside also secured rights for the Beagle sub-basin off the Carnarvon Basin.