Can gas and wind coexist in on the nose permit?
Published Date : 2023-July-24, Monday
The titleholders of a controversial offshore oil & gas permit have declared there will be no material impact from the recent declaration of the partially overlapping Hunter offshore wind zone in NSW.
JV partners Asset Energy and Bounty Oil & Gas have been developing
their PEP-11 offshore permit – NSW’s only offshore licence – for the better
part of two decades, and are planning to drill the Seablue-1 gas exploration
well around 25km off the coast of NSW near Newcastle.
Earlier this month the federal Minister Chris Bowen
officially announced the declaration of Hunter offshore wind zone OEI-01-2023,
which overlaps a considerable portion of the northern end of PEP-11.
However Asset Energy said that “the Declared Wind Area does
not materially impact the PEP-11 title or the main PEP-11 target areas.”
In an ASX announcement Asset said, “There are and will be
offshore areas where wind, gas and carbon sequestration activities will overlap and it is Advents’
belief that a holistic approach should and will be taken to ensure that clean
energy is produced in a reliable and cost effective
Advent Energy is Asset Energy’s parent, and they are both
investee companies of ASX-listed MEC Resources and BPH Energy.
PEP-11 gained notoriety at the last federal election when
then Prime Minister Scott Morrison cancelled it. It was later discovered this
was done by Morrison while using his authority as self-appointed minister - one
of several ministries he had secretly assumed leadership of.
The decision to cancel PEP-11 was appealed by the
titleholders and consequently overturned by the Federal Court of Australia in
February this year. However the permit is still in limbo while the federal
permit regulator assesses a suspension application.
In the interim Asset Energy said it is “investigating availability
of a mobile offshore drilling unit to drill the proposed Seablue-1 well on the
Baleen prospect which would take approximately thirty-five days to complete”,
possibly in the first half of 2024.
The strong community opposition to Asset’s plans
in PEP-11, which ultimately lead to Morrison cancelling the permit, is likely
to be repeated as activity increases.