The Cooper Basin

Some Facts about Oil and Gas Investments in Australia

Management believes Australia provides an attractive oil and gas environment because of its royalty and tax regulatory structure (Federal Royalty 10%, Native Trust Royalty 1% and Corporate Tax Rate 30%). Politically, Australia has one of the lowest risk of political instability in the world, has the fewest restrictions on product markets and the least amount of government ownership in business. It is also a very efficient and transparent country. All geological information is made available to the public domain two years after it is obtained. 

Australia has the ability to supply energy to major consuming economies such as China, Japan and Indonesia because of its geographical location.  

All these factors create an appealing framework in Australia for attracting Oil and Gas Investments.

The Cooper Basin

The Cooper Basin’s most productive sediments for petrochemicals were formed during the Permian period, which ended about 250 million years ago.  Since the end of this era, the Permian’s rich organic sediments have been increasingly buried under additional layers of rock, thus forming deposits of coal, oil, natural gas, and other petrochemicals.Because of the geological history of the Australian continent, the Permian sediments in Central Australia primarily occurred in one distinct region – the Cooper Basin.  This basin is surrounded by and underlies a portion of the much larger Eromanga Basin, which is mostly comprised of younger sandstones and sediments from the more recent Jurassic and Cretaceous periods.  It is these younger formations that overlie the Cooper Basin’s Permian sediments, thus trapping (or “capping”) the petrochemicals underground and creating Australia’s richest oil and gas producing region. There has been a recent surge in drilling activity for oil in the last five years with many new Jurassic Eromanga discoveries being made along the southwestern flank of the Cooper Basin

From a more detailed technical  perspective:

  • The Cooper Basin is a Permo-Carboniferous to Triassic intracratonic basin
  • The Cooper Basin is overlain by the Jurassic– Cretaceous intracratonic Eromanga Basin which has a significantly larger areal extent
  • The basins form the largest and most mature onshore hydrocarbon province in Australia
  • The Cooper Basin Permian shales and coals are dominated by Type III kerogens which have high TOC values forming the source material and have generated hydrocarbons
  • The Patchawarra trough contains the majority of oil and liquids rich gas reserves
  • The basin is underexplored with exploration focusing on four-way structural closures with 3-D seismic playing a significant role in risk mitigation

Characteristic of the Cooper/Eromanaga Basin

The Cooper/Eromanga Basin is a region which has historically, following 3D seismic acquisition, enjoyed a high level of success of over 50% in discoveries (Source: Government of South Australia, DMITRE 2013). Since 1963, when the Basin saw their first commercial discovery, E&P companies had discovered more than 100 oil fields and 160 gas fields.

To date, oil in the Cooper/Eromanga Basin has generally been between 40 to 55⁰ API with very low gas-oil ratios which are often classified as light crude oil that requires less processing and usually commands premium pricing.

The lifting costs for oil in the Cooper/Eromanga Basin are reported to be one of the most competitive in the world.

PEL 112 and 444 enjoy access to nearby equipment and infrastructure such as a network of pipeline, a central processing plant and three major seaports. The access to this infrastructure provides a short and less expensive route to market future discoveries.