South Perth Basin / Exploration
The South Perth Basin has a 50-year history of oil and gas exploration and development of associated infrastructure, including the Dampier to Bunbury Natural Gas Pipeline, which culminates at the city limits of Bunbury.
The Government of Western Australia has recognised the potential for a new gas industry in the State’s South West, however any such development is in its infancy and predicted to be at least five years away, perhaps even a decade into the future.
The Government has issued four petroleum exploration permits in the South West, with Bunbury Energy awarded the EP496 permit area, which includes 11 blocks extending across the shires of Capel, Dardanup and Donnybrook-Balingup as well as parts of the City of Bunbury and slightly overlapping the City of Busselton.
Bunbury Energy’s two-year exploration commitment involves an aerial gravity survey in late 2018, followed by a 200km seismic survey the following year. It is intended that the seismic survey will conducted along public roads and rights-of-way, wherever possible.
The Company is pursuing conventional, commercial gas deposits for possible future development, as previous exploration studies have clearly indicated that the geology within the permit area is not suitable for any form of hydraulic fracturing.
The South West continues to boast a strong and diverse economy, generating an estimated $17 billion during the 2013/14 financial year, according to the South West Development Commission.
The continued development and vibrancy of the City of Bunbury is testimony to its ability to attract and retain a large number of diverse industries, which have provided much of the prosperity and employment in the local area. These industries, in most instances, require significant energy inputs.
These energy requirements at present are supplied from gas fields located in some cases thousands of kilometres away in the North West of WA and delivered to the region through the Dampier to Bunbury Gas Pipeline.
This holds risks for the continuity of supply should there be an issue at any stage of this expansive supply chain. In recent years, the region has suffered from interruption of supply due to the issues at the Varanus Gas Plant.
Given customers in the region are extraordinarily far removed from the gas source, it is plausible to point to the potential for future issues with the Dampier to Bunbury Gas Pipeline supply chain as well as issues around both price and supply consistency as a result of contracting decisions made by the global gas producers on the North West Shelf.
Bunbury Energy is investing a significant amount of its private funds into the search for a commercial scale, reliable gas supply within the region, which if successful could mean a reduced reliance on gas being transported across vast distances and the removal of the associated risks.