ExxonMobil acquires Dory prospect in Bass Strait

The West Tuna platform in Bass Strait.
The West Tuna platform in Bass Strait.

EXXONMOBIL has reportedly acquired a huge new gas prospect, called Dory, off the coast of Gippsland.

According to an article in The Australian, it could potentially be a two trillion cubic feet field —  the biggest in Bass Strait.

On the edge of a continental shelf, the Dory was first explored by US company Liberty Petroleum, and is believed to be “cleaner” with  fewer impurities than the Kipper and Tuna fields that prompted the new KTT gas conditioning plants.

An Esso spokesperson confirmed the acquisition, noting there would be more details to come.

“We recently completed a transaction with Liberty Petroleum to acquire its interest and operatorship of the VIC/P70 exploration permit in the offshore Gippsland Basin in Australia,” he confirmed.

“We are currently progressing our exploration plans for the licence.”

Petroleum Exploration Society of Australia’s Victorian-Tasmanian president Tim O’Brien said there would be difficulties in extraction, as platforms would be a long way offshore and in deep water, but securing the supply would be good for Victoria in the long term.

“Gas is jobs,” he said.

“Energy’s the most important thing for society, and we need to secure reliable sources.

“Renewables aren’t there yet, and any new resources are a benefit for the state.”

Mr O’Brien said the field would boost reserves and potentially ease any looming gas crisis.

The Australian reported that a rig has been contracted to begin drilling in the third quarter of next year, but Mr O’Brien estimated it would be a five to 10 year development.

“This is good for Victoria, since there is no onshore extraction,” he said.

“Any exploration is good exploration, and no one loses out of a discovery.”