Origin doubles stake in Beetaloo gas field

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Origin Energy has announced it has increased to 70 per cent its share in the Beetaloo joint venture after acquiring Sasol Petroleum Australia’s 35 per cent share.

Located about 500km south east of Darwin, the three Beetaloo joint venture permits cover an area of more than 18,500sq km within the Beetaloo Basin.

“Having recently announced the discovery of a material shale gas resource in the Beetaloo Basin, Origin has seized the opportunity to increase its interest in the Beetaloo joint venture by acquiring Sasol’s 35 per cent share,” Origin chief executive Frank Calabria said.

“Origin would like to recognise Sasol’s contribution to the Beetaloo joint venture to date, as it departs the joint venture to focus its capital investment on its African and North American footprint.

“The Beetaloo Basin is the Northern Territory’s most prospective onshore basin for shale gas and our test results estimate the joint venture’s contingent resource at a substantial 6.6 TCF of natural gas.”

Mr Calabria said the company is looking forward to progressing its understanding of the play and maturing the contingent resources to reserves over time with joint venture partner Falcon Oil & Gas Australia, subject to the outcome of the Northern Territory’s inquiry into hydraulic fracturing.

“Recent events have demonstrated how crucial it is for Australia to continue to develop its abundant natural gas resources, in order to provide access to sufficient, affordable gas supply for businesses and homes across the nation,” he said.

“As one of the largest natural gas producers on the east coast, Origin will continue to look at opportunities to invest in the safe and responsible development of natural gas resources, such as those in the Beetaloo Basin.

“Gas will play an important role in the transition to a secure, affordable and cleaner supply of energy for Australia.”

The transaction is subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions.