Chevron cancels plans to drill for oil on South Australian coast

MELBOURNE, Australia- Chevron Corp. has abandoned plans for deep-water exploration wells off Australia's southern coast, the second oil major to be squeezed out of the Great Australian Bight, citing low oil prices.

The southern offshore basin is thought to hold great potential but is undeveloped and underexplored.

At the time, Chevron Australia's general manager of exploration David Moffat said he believed oil prices would rebound.

Fellow oil major BP dropped similar plans previous year.

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"We see no reason why offshore petroleum activities can not continue safely and sustainably with appropriate regulatory oversight by the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority", Knol said.

The decision has disappointed oil and gas industry bodies, with Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) South Australian director Matthew Doman saying Chevron's move was a reminder that investment in developing Australia's energy resources could not be taken for granted. It estimates onshore and offshore oil-and-gas exploration in the country is at 30-year lows, due to hard market conditions and rising regulatory costs.

British oil giant BP abandoned its plans to drill in the area previous year after reviewing its global exploration programme. Global exploration spending is expected to fall this year for the third year in a row to less than half 2014 levels.

"In Australia, onshore and offshore oil and gas exploration is at 30-year lows due to hard market conditions, escalating regulatory costs and political bans on energy development".

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"Over the next week I'll be reaching out to the Norwegian ambassador and the Norwegian Government to say "look, it's just not worth it, leave our Great Australian Bight alone"."

"In Australia, onshore and offshore oil and gas exploration is at 30-year lows due to hard market conditions, escalating regulatory costs and political bans on energy development", Doman said.

"The industry will continue to work with local stakeholders and the wider community to build understanding of the benefits and impacts of offshore petroleum activity to South Australians", Mr Doman added.

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