BP and Chevron have unveiled plans to invest a total of $116.5 million in oil and gas exploration activities in South Australia following their decisions to cease petroleum exploration in the Great Australian Bight.
Under the agreement, both companies have committed to deliver their investment over a three-year period, with BP to invest $40.6 million by October 2022 and Chevron to invest $75.9 million by September 2022.
In a joint media statement, Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan and South Australian Minister for Energy and Mining Dan van Holst Pellekaan said that at least half of this investment will be directed to projects in South Australia with a view to increasing energy supplies in the state and south-eastern Australia.
“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,” Minister Canavan said.
“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 van Holst Pellekaan said both parties are finalising contractual negotiations for a range of regional studies with third party proponents.
“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 continued.
“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.”