Timor Sea open for business, NT tells Asian explorers

THE Northern Territory Government is calling on South-East Asian petroleum firms to consider exploring for gas in the Timor Sea.
Timor Sea open for business, NT tells Asian explorers Timor Sea open for business, NT tells Asian explorers Timor Sea open for business, NT tells Asian explorers Timor Sea open for business, NT tells Asian explorers Timor Sea open for business, NT tells Asian explorers

At the Offshore South-East Asia Exposition and Conference (OSEA) in Singapore yesterday, NT Minister for Business and Economic Development Kon Vatskalis was promoting the Timor Sea as a business location for offshore companies.

“The Timor Sea is the final frontier of oil and gas in Australia,” he told delegates.

“We anticipate in excess of $A500 million will be spent in offshore exploration by 2010.”

In particular, Vatskalis was keen to encourage Singaporean companies into the region.

Singapore is currently the leading oil trading hub in Asia and the world’s third-largest oil refinery centre. And although the city-state has no hydrocarbon resources of its own, it can help local firms export their technology and knowledge by partnering Australia.

Vatskalis acknowledged that the nation was looking to secure future energy supplies from diversified sources and had announced the construction of an LNG receiving terminal.

“I further understand that Singapore will look to Australia as a liquid natural gas supply source,” he added.

Singaporean Minister of State, Trade & Industry S. Iswaran responded to Vatskalis’ call by saying the nation was committed to developing new deepwater technologies.

“The oil and gas industry is crucial to Singapore and we are determined and committed to grow it further,” Iswaran said.

According to recent data, deepwater production technology for the oil and gas sector is likely to more than double to 25% of total offshore production in the next five years. And it will take up 30% of global expenditure on oil and gas exploration and production by 2010, with Asia-Pacific the fastest-growing region.

Onshore NT also prospective

Vatskalis added that onshore exploration activities in the NT were also gaining pace.

About 95% of prospective acreage has been taken up or is under application, including permits in the Amadeus, Pedirka, Georgina and Beetaloo basins, compared to only 10% in 1998.

The total onshore area prospective for hydrocarbons exceeds 365,000 square kilometres.

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