The South Australian Government has opened bidding for three new onshore petroleum exploration licences in the Otway Basin in the southeast of South Australia.
The Otway Basin is said to be one of the best known and most actively explored of the series of Mesozoic rift basins that span the southern coastline of Australia.
These basins were formed due to the separation of Australia and Antarctica.
The OT2008 A, B and C blocks are being offered to explorers on the basis of work program bidding.
Bids close at 4 pm Thursday 27 November 2008 and it is anticipated that the winning bidders will be announced in early 2009.
The designated blocks are:
- OT2008-A, covers 1,173 square kilometres in the Robe Trough and has three previous exploration wells and 1,006 km of 2D seismic. One well in the area (Camelback-1) had significant gas shows but lacked good reservoir.
- OT2008-B, covers 1,580 square kilometres around the Jacaranda Ridge oil/condensate discovery in the Tantanoola and Penola Troughs. There are ten previous wells and 2,045 kilometres of 2D and 160 square kilometres of 3D seismic in the area. It contains a continuation of the Jacaranda Ridge condensate/oil trend, and the main gas producing area (PPL 62) of the Katnook Graben lies directly to the east of the block. The retention licence over the Kilanoola oil field is not included in the licence.
- OT2008-C, covers 767 square kilometres in the Penola Trough and has nine previous wells and 1,161 kilometres of 2D and 265 square kilometres of 3D seismic in the area. Five commercial fields and one retention licence occur around the block in separate Petroleum Licences, and are not included in the release block. Sawpit-1 lies in the block and recovered 1.5 barrels of 32-35o API oil from fractured basement on test in 1992.
Some potential exists for larger hydrocarbon accumulations than found so far in the onshore Otway Basin.
Re-interpretation of well and seismic data by Primary Industries and Resources of SA has shown the structural evolution of the onshore and offshore Otway Basin is analogous to basins elsewhere in the world found to contain giant oilfields.
Further information can be found online at www.petroleum.pir.sa.gov.au or — contact Elinor Alexander at PIRSA on 08 8463 3211.