Chevron makes two additional natural gas discoveries in Australia

Chevron on Thursday morning announced two additional natural-gas discoveries in offshore western.

The San Ramon-based oil and gas company made the two discoveries in the Exmouth Plateau area of the Carnarvon Basin, a basin about 75 miles offshore western Australia.

The announcement comes the heels of news that Chevron’s Gorgon Project, a liquefied natural gas and domestic gas joint venture that is currently under construction on Barrow Island, is now 20 percent over prior cost estimates at $54.4 billion. Chevron, like its international competitors, is seeking to develop Australian natural gas reserves for export into Asia.

The first of the two discoveries, the Pinhoe-1 exploration discovery well, has an estimated 197 feet of net gas pay in the Barrow and Mungaroo Sands. The second discovery, the Arnhem-1 exploration discovery well, is believed to have roughly 149 feet of net gas pay in the upper Mungaroo Sands, the company said in its statement.

“These discoveries in the Exmouth area are significant as they are located farther out from other discoveries in the greater Gorgon and Wheatstone development in the Carnarvon basin and indicates development potential in the broader region,” said Melody Meyer, president of Chevron Asia Pacific Exploration & Production Co. in a written statement.

Chevron has made more than a dozen natural gas discoveries in Australia since 2009. In October, it announced a discovery at its Satyr-4 well, located approximately 75 miles northwest of Barrow Island, off the Western Australian coast.

Chevron announced a deal earlier this week to buy a 50 percent stake in liquefied natural gas and pipeline projects in Canada, in a joint purchase with Apache Corp. and EOG Resources Inc.