VIENNA, July 16 (UPI) -- Austrian energy company OMV said Tuesday it made a discovery of natural gas while drilling in one of its most successful areas off the coast of Australia.
OMV said it encountered a more than 360-foot layer of natural gas while drilling an appraisal well in the Zola field off Australia.
Jaap Huijskes, an OMV board member responsible for Exploration and Production, said in a statement the find was "an important step in progressing Zola to development."
In 2011, OMV announced the discovery of a 426-foot layer of natural gas at an exploration well in the Zola area, one of its largest on record.
The discovery was made in deep waters nearly six miles from the giant Gorgon natural gas field. Chevron lauds its Gorgon project as a major find with a resource base of more than 40 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and an estimated lifespan of 40 years.
Energy-hungry Asian economies are looking to Australia to secure predictable quantities of liquefied natural gas. JPX Nippon, a Japanese energy company, holds a 15 percent stake in OMV's license area offshore Australia.