BP to explore Ceduna subbasin off S. Australia

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Jan. 17
-- BP PLC was awarded four deepwater blocks in the unexplored Ceduna subbasin of the Great Australian Bight basin off South Australia.

Exploration Permit for Petroleum areas EPP 37, EPP 38, EPP 39, and EPP 40 cover a combined 24,000 sq km about 200 km southwest of the city of Ceduna. BP has the right to develop any commercially viable discoveries.

The basin’s geology indicates a high potential to contain hydrocarbons, said Phil Home, managing director of BP’s Australian upstream oil and gas business.

BP said the proposed exploration would be phased over 6 years and, as part of the regulatory approval process, would be subject to detailed environmental assessment.

The company said seismic surveying could take place in the summer of 2011-12. Drilling isn’t expected until 2013 or 2014.

BP said it is committed to use the intervening time to fully implement the lessons learned from the investigations into the Montara and Deepwater Horizon incidents and is working closely with the Australian and South Australian governments and industry to do so.

The Ceduna subbasin is west of the Duntroon subbasin, where a Woodside Petroleum (Pty.) Ltd. group drilled Gnarlyknots-1 in 2003 in 1,315 m of water in EPP 29 425 km west of Port Lincoln. Projected to 5,600 m, it went to 4,736 m and was unsuccessful.

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