Consortium accelerates search for gas off southeast Australia

AWE Ltd has committed to a major new program of offshore exploration in a bid to increase its capacity to supply gas to the growing southeast Australian energy market.

Offshore staff

NORTH SYDNEY, Australia -- AWE Ltd has committed to a major new program of offshore exploration in a bid to increase its capacity to supply gas to the growing southeast Australian energy market.

AWE and its co-venturers in the offshore Bass and Otway basins produce the equivalent of around 30% of Victoria's daily gas needs, but aim to expand production capacity.

The partners will add to their exploration commitment by conducting a 3D seismic survey in permit Vic/P 44 in the offshore Otway basin. The survey will begin in May and is expected to lead to the development of prospects and leads which could add substantially to the natural gas inventory of the region, AWE says.

In the last three years, AWE and its co-venturers have made three gas discoveries in the Henry and Martha fields in the Otway basin and in the Trefoil field in the Bass basin. They have also carried out 2D and 3D seismic surveys.

The 700 sq km ( 270 sq mi), Otway 3D seismic survey will adjoin an earlier 3D survey over the Pecten High trend that incorporates the Casino, Henry, and Martha gas
fields. The new survey will cover the Champion High trend, which includes the Champion South prospect and several adjacent prospects and leads.

"The Bass and Otway basin acreage held by AWE has potential for significant additional
gas reserves. To date AWE has a 100% success rate in its offshore Otway basin drilling program, and we are optimistic about the upcoming exploration drilling on the Netherby and Pecten East prospects later in 2007.

"The new 3D seismic survey is designed to delineate additional drilling prospects and extend the gas fairway to the west of the existing Casino, Henry and Martha gas fields," Bruce Phillips, AWE managing director, says.

"In the Bass basin, AWE sees potential for gas developments beyond the first stage of the BassGas project, where the Yolla oil and gas field is currently producing. AWE and its co-venturers have recently delineated the nearby Trefoil gas and condensate field with a large 3D seismic survey, and conceptual development studies for the field are
underway," Phillips says.

Origin Energy operates the BassGas project with 42.5% interest. Partners include AWE with 30% interest, Wandoo Petroleum with 12.5% interest, and CalEnergy with 15% interest.

Origin also operates the Trefoil field with 46.4% interest. Partners include AWE with 22.6% interest, Wandoo Petroleum with 12.5% interest, and CalEnergy with 18.5%.

Santos Ltd. operates the Casino project with 50% interest. Partners include AWE with 25% interest, and Mittwell Energy Resources Pty. Ltd. with 25% interest.

3/6/2007

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