Major gas find reported offshore Australia

Jan. 30, 2013 at 7:37 AM

WEST PERTH, Australia, Jan. 30 (UPI) -- Drilling operations off the coast of Western Australia indicated there may be as much as 500 billion cubic feet of natural gas there, said Tap Oil Ltd.

Tap Oil Ltd., which has a minority interest in the WA-351-P section of the offshore Tallaganda area, said it confirmed the presence of around 500 billion cubic feet of natural gas at the site.

Parts of the discovery area were drilled late last year and confirmed the presence of natural gas. Tap Oil Managing Director Troy Hayden said in a statement there were "a number of other prospects" in the region.

The company, which is working alongside BHP Billiton and Apache Corp. off the coast of Western Australia, said there are no further plans for drilling in the area this year.

A company representative told energy reporting website Rigzone there wasn't enough gas in the region to support additional structures to support liquefied natural gas developments for the site.

U.S. supermajor Chevron is working to develop its giant Wheatstone LNG project in Western Australia. Construction started last year. First gas is expected by 2016. Japan is to get 400,000 tons of LNG per year from Wheatstone.

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