Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Kimberley oil find tipped to fuel exploration surge

Kimberley oil find tipped to fuel exploration surge: The discovery of oil in Western Australia’s remote Kimberley region would usher in a new wave of exploration for oil and gas, including possible controversial coal seam gas fields, WA Resources Minister Norman Moore said.

The veteran Liberal MP said WA badly needed such onshore energy sources for power and industry.

But environmental groups warned that Buru Energy’s announcement last week that it would start trial production at its Ungani oil field next month was another sign, along with Woodside Petroleum’s planned $40 billion James Price Point gas site, of the “industrialisation” of the wilderness area. The groups also want tighter regulations to control the emerging unconventional shale and coal seam gas industry, which has sparked concern in Queensland and NSW.

Mr Moore said he expected Buru’s announcement to spark an exploration surge, with bidding for tenements in the Kimberley area already rising. “This is very encouraging news for us,” he told The Australian Financial Review yesterday. “Canning Basin in the Kimberley has long been thought of as a source of oil and gas, but has been quite disappointing.”

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