Half will be spent in South Australia in a bid to increase the state's, and southeast Australia's energy supplies, according to a joint release from federal resources Minister Matt Canavan and South Australian energy minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan.
Chevron partnered with Beach Energy and Icon to explore the Cooper Basin's Nappameri Trough for gas in the deep Roseneath-Epsilon-Murteree shale play earlier this decade, but walked in 2015 after deciding it no longer met its strategic goals.
It will now return to the basin.
"They are finalising now third-party contracts with operators, mainly in the Cooper Basin, but all-over South Australia, to invest in projects to get more gas to South Australians," resources minister Matt Canavan said at an Adelaide press conference this morning.
"It's taken some time to bring them this far, but they have got there," he said.
BP will invest $40.6 million nationally by October 2022 and Chevron $75.9 million by September 2022. Both parties are apparently finalising contractual negotiations for a range of regional studies with third-party proponents, the South Australian Chamber of Minerals and Energy said this morning.
Canavan claimed the combined $60 million investment would mean more gas and more jobs in SA.
"Initially those companies wanted to spend that money mostly off the Western Australian coast, in the Carnarvon Basin where they have operations. But working with the state government, we both told those companies that we needed some investment here in southern Australia, particularly South Australia, to help the domestic gas situation here," he said.
Chevron declined to comment further but a spokeswoman told Energy News it was "committed to working closely with key stakeholders on partnerships that deliver long-term benefits and continue to contribute to Australia's economic future".
"Chevron will satisfy the GSA through expenditure on projects consistent with current government guidelines," she said.
"These are welcome investments in oil and gas exploration that will be of direct benefit to the South Australian resources sector and the broader State economy," SACOME CEO Rebecca Knol said.
The news comes a day after the offshore regulator approved Equinor's environmental plan to drill a controversial well in the Bight late next year.