Australia's Biggest Oil Find In Three Decades Has Just Been Made In The North West Shelf

Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images

A joint venture including US-based Apache Energy and Australia’s Carnarvon Petroleum has announced that it has discovered an oil reservoir off Western Australia’s northwest coast which is estimated to hold as much as 300 million barrels of oil.

In an announcement to the ASX, Carnarvon, which owns 20 per cent of the discovery, said that “the discovery represents one of the most significant developments in Australian oil and gas in recent times”.

Apache operates the field and holds 40 per cent. The other partners are Perth-based Finder Exploration and JX Nippon of Japan with 20 per cent each.

Carnarvon share prices traded sharply higher to 24 cents from 8 cents the previous day as Carnarvon CEO Adrian Cook seemed to open up the possibility that this find could have positive implications for Carnarvon’s other properties.

“This is the most significant new oil play in the North West Shelf since the Enfield discovery opened up the Exmouth basin almost 20 years ago. The implications on the rest of our acreage are still being assessed, but the potential is extraordinary,” Cook said in the statement to the ASX yesterday.

Carnarvon and industry analysts were at pains to say more technical work needs to be undertaken to prove the reserves and commercialise the find, but it’s no wonder the shares rocketed higher yesterday – “extraordinary” is an extraordinary word to use in a statement to the ASX.

Chart: ASX.com

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