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Chevron abandons exploration program in Great Australian Bight

EBR Staff Writer Published 13 October 2017

Chevron’s Australian subsidiary has revealed its decision to quit from its exploration drilling program in the Great Australian Bight due to prevailing low oil price environment.

Chevron Australia stated that the decision was purely a commercial one and had nothing to do with government policy, regulatory, environmental or community concerns.

It also said that it could not compete for capital in Chevron’s global portfolio with the Great Australian Bight exploration project.

However, it maintained that the oceanic bight is one of the most prospective frontier hydrocarbon regions in Australia but would prefer to tap into resources in offshore Western Australia.

Last year, another oil major BP, had abandoned its plans to carry out exploration drilling in the Great Australian Bight located offshore South Australia.

Chevron Australia Managing Director Nigel Hearne said: “Offshore Western Australia is a global focus area for Chevron where we have access to vast natural gas resources and existing infrastructure.

“We have invested billions of dollars in Western Australia to commercialise our large gas resource base through the Chevron-operated Gorgon and Wheatstone LNG and domestic gas facilities and expect to be here for decades to come.

Hearne concluded that Chevron Australia would go after opportunities to step up the commercialisation of its gas resource base through non-operated LNG facilities by greater collaboration with other Western Australian producers.

Recently, a Chevron Australia affiliate had bagged rights for three new exploration blocks in the Northern Carnarvon Basin. The offshore basin located in northwest margin is considered to be the premier hydrocarbon basin of Australia.

Earlier this week, Chevron along with its partners had started liquefied natural gas (LNG) production from the $34bn Wheatstone Project near Onslow in Western Australia.

Image: Chevron drops drilling plans in Great Australian Bight. Photo: courtesy of num_skyman/Freedigitalphotos.net.