Not content with trying to develop more than $80 billion of LNG projects in the Pilbara and presiding over a huge untapped gas inventory in the Carnarvon Basin, Chevron yesterday added frontier exploration in the Great Australian Bight to its portfolio.
Just eight months after Chevron also joined the shale gas rush in the Cooper Basin, the US giant said it had been awarded two permits about 300km off the coast of Ceduna. The permits, S12-2 and S12-3, are adjacent to four permits owned by BP, while S12-1 was yesterday picked up by Santos and partner Murphy Oil.
Chevron proposed a $496 million work program to outbid other parties in the Federal Government's acreage auction.
The work will include 21,000sqkm of seismic surveys and drilling of two exploration wells on each permit.
The acreage, in what is considered one of Australia's last exploration frontiers, almost doubles the size of Chevron's permit portfolio around Australia.
Like BP, Chevron will still need to secure environmental approval before it can begin exploring its Bight permits.
"The Bight Basin is similar in size to the Gulf of Mexico and these two blocks contain significant exploration potential," Chevron Australia managing director Roy Krzywosinski said.
Santos and Murphy pledged a $103 million work program for their permit.BP, which was awarded its permits in 2011, plans to start drilling in late 2015.