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AFX News Limited: Shell, Chevron, Exxon expand Gorgon exploration area off Australia

01.31.2006, 01:05 AM
SYDNEY (AFX) – Partners in the Greater Gorgon gas project in the Carnarvon Basin, off northwestern Australia, have expanded their exploration area in the basin, Shell Development Australia said.
The Royal Dutch Shell unit said the partners have been awarded exploration rights to offshore block WA-374-P, covering 2,650 square kilometers.
Shell will have a 25 pct interest in the block, Chevron Australia will be the operator and will hold 50 pct, and Exxon Mobil Corp will hold the rest.
The Carnarvon Basin includes the North West Shelf gas project and the yet-to-be developed Greater Gorgon resources.
Shell Exploration & Production Asia Pacific Exploration vice-president Wouter Hoogeveen said the permit is the sixth awarded to Shell over the last seven months in three different areas.
Recent permit awards included permit area WA-371-P, in the northern Browse Basin, in which Shell will have a 100 pct interest.
Shell Development (Australia) chief operating officer Chris Gunner said Shell's reinvigorated exploration underlines the importance of Australia to the company's growth ambitions for gas.
The Greater Gorgon project partners are expected to commit to a development worth more than 11 bln aud by the middle of this year, which could see the delivery of 10 mln tonnes a year of liquefied natural gas to export markets by 2011.
(1 usd = 1.33 aud)
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