Hon Rob Kerin MP
Minister for Primary Industries,
Natural Resources & Regional Development
17th Floor, Grenfell Centre
25 Grenfell Centre
ADELAIDE SA 5000
Ph. 8226 0322
Monday April 19, 1999
mits for Bight
The State Government has today welcomed applications for eight offshore exploration permits
within the Great Australian Bight.
A national release of the offshore exploration blocks has been announced today by the Federal
Minister for Indus
try, Science and Resources, Senator Nick Minchin.
Deputy Premier Rob Kerin welcomed the move saying it will provide valuable employment in the
petroleum industry and boost offshore drilling activity in the State
currently worth approximately
Mr Kerin says mining and petroleum industries are underdeveloped in South Australia and have the
potential to be the “engine room” for future economic development.
“I am more optimistic than ever that mineral and petroleum resources will play an even
in the State’s future growth,” Mr Kerin says.
“International companies have found recent success in deepwater petroleum exploration off Angola
in the Gulf of Mexico, which has attracted attention to these deep water areas off South Australia.
“The blocks within the Bight offer great potential for hydrocarbon discoveries with the area already
attracting considerable interest from international companies who are keen to explore deepwater.”
The areas are being released under the Commonwealth
troleum (Submerged Lands) Act 1967
will be subject to a work program bidding system. All exploration permits will be awarded for six
year terms and are renewable for an additional five years.
Mr Kerin says exploration blocks two and four cover a port
ion of the Benthic Protection Area, a
southern extension of the Great Australian Bight Marine Park.
“Exploration which does not disturb the benthic fauna and flora will be allowed, but exploration
drilling will be subject to a rigorous environmental revie
w and will be considered on a case by case
basis,” Mr Kerin says.
A draft Plan of Management for the Great Australian Bight Marine Park is expected to be released
within the next 12 months to establish a framework for petroleum exploration and development
the Park. Any exploration and development activities within the Park will require a permit.
Media Contact: Sascha Brooker
0418 806 710
Six of the exploration blocks cover an area of 107,000 square kilometres in the Bight Basi
n west of
Port Lincoln and lie in water depths ranging from 100m to 4500m. This area has not been explored
since the late 1970s, and a recent speculative seismic survey revealed a number of potential
exploration targets. Applications for the six areas cl
ose on April 6, 2000.
Blocks seven and eight cover an area of 21,500 square kilometres in the Duntroon Basin, located
about 110km southwest of Port Lincoln. The areas lie in water depths of between 60m and 3000m.
The Duntroon Basin has been actively exp
lored since the late 1960s, resulting in significant oil and
gas finds. Applications for the two blocks close on October 14, 1999.