Chevron and BP will invest $116.5 million on oil and gas exploration in Australia, with the focal point being South Australia as both oil and gas majors endeavour to shore up future energy supplies to eastern states.
This was revealed in a joint statement by Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan and South Australian Minister for Energy and Mining Dan van Holst Pellekaan.
The announcement followed the conclusion of Good Standing Agreement negotiations between both parties after both BP and Chevron had in recent years abandoned plans for exploration in the Great Australian Bight.
Minister Canavan said: “BP and Chevron ceased their programs of exploration in the Great Australian Bight in 2017 and 2018 respectively. Australia’s offshore oil and gas policy ensures that companies which commit to a program of exploration deliver on that commitment under the Government’s Good Standing Agreement policy.”
He added that; “In rare cases where commitments are not met, companies are encouraged to re-direct exploration investment within Australia.”
“This is an important policy that maintains the exploration investment pipeline in Australia, supporting new petroleum discoveries and our future energy security and I welcome these commitments from BP and Chevron.”
Minister for Energy and Mining Dan van Holst Pellekaan said he was delighted that the Federal Government had backed up his request that half of the Good Standing Agreement be discharged in South Australia.
“It is excellent news for the South Australian resources sector that almost $60 million will be invested in our state as a result of the Good Standing Agreement,” he said.
“This investment will help tap the immense promise of South Australia’s resources sector driving job creation, investment and royalties in South Australia. Australia’s offshore oil and gas policy ensures that companies who commit to a program of exploration deliver on their investment commitments.”
In terms of the agreement, BP and Chevron have three years to deliver on their investments. BP must invest $40.6 million by October 2022 and Chevron $75.9 million by September 2022.
Both parties are finalising negotiations for a number of regional studies to be conducted by third party contractors.