South Australia has welcomed the announcement a $755 million offshore drilling rig has been commissioned for the search for oil along the state’s coast.
Minister for Mineral Resources and Energy Tom Koutsantonis said the U.S. based Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc has announced an agreement with South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. Ltd to develop a new Moss CS60E design drilling rig to be used by BP as part of its exploration program off Ceduna.
“The search for oil and gas off South Australia’s coastline has really taken an international dimension with a UK resource giant working with Diamond Offshore Drilling of the US and South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries to construct a rig for use here. Diamond Offshore has more than 30 years of experience working in Australia and has developed an international reputation for its expertise in deepwater drilling.” he said.
The rig is expected to be delivered in South Australia after November 2015 to begin deepwater drilling.
“The entrance of international companies such as BP, Chevron, Norway’s Statoil and only this week Europe’s Northern Petroleum again and again highlight the genuine interest being shown in South Australia’s oil and gas potential.”
“Whether it is the Cooper, Otway or Bight Basins, energy companies are showing new interest in South Australia’s onshore and offshore resource potential, which is translating into expenditure on exploration and mining services such as constructing and operating drill rigs.”
In South Australia, Mr Koutsantonis revealed, spending on the search for oil and gas in this State has grown considerably in the past few years and now rivals the expenditure on exploration for mineral resources.
“A record $602 million was spent on exploration in petroleum and mineral resources in 2012, with almost half of that expenditure directed into the search for oil and gas. This is the first time the combined expenditure on minerals and petroleum has broken through the $600 million mark in South Australia’s history,” Mr Koutsantonis added.