(EnergyAsia, March 19, Wednesday) — Australia’s Origin Energy said it has purchased Woodside Petroleum Limited’s 62.5% interest in the VIC/P37(V) exploration permit off the south west Victorian coast for A$13.6 million. (US$1=A$1.05).

The permits contain the Halladale and Black Watch gas and condensate fields, and the acquisition provides Origin with 100% ownership of the permit.

Discovered in 2005, the two fields are estimated to contain a 55 PJe recoverable gas and condensate contingent resource.

The fields which are located four to five kilometres offshore may potentially be accessed via extended reach drilling from onshore. This would provide an economic means of tying the field into either new or existing pipelines and plant infrastructure in the area.

Origin managing director Grant King said: “The purchase provides Origin, as 100% owner and operator, with the ability to undertake the necessary exploration and potential development activity to bring this small but valuable gas and liquids resource to market.

“Securing Halladale and Black Watch complements Origin’s integrated portfolio strategy and provides added flexibility in managing its southern gas requirements. The anticipated reserves will be used to support Origin’s existing gas retail business and the proposed Mortlake Power Station.

“The fields could potentially also be used for gas storage in the future to support winter peak demand requirements in Origin’s retail businesses.”