US oil major Chevron has become the latest international energy company to invest in Australia's fledgling shale gas sector.
US oil major Chevron has become the latest international energy company to invest in Australia’s fledgling shale gas sector.
Chevron has agreed to pay up to $349 million for stakes in two shale prospects being developed by Beach Energy.
Earlier in February PetroChina and ConocPhillips announced a deal to jointly explore for gas in Western Australia. Statoil, BG Group and Hess have also made shale gas investments in the country, which is estimated by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) to have the world’s sixth-largest shale gas reserves.
Chevron will acquire as much as 60 per cent of a permit in South Australia and 36 per cent of a block in Queensland. The deal is thought to be the largest shale gas investment to date in Australia.
Chevron has been active in the USA’s shale gas industry, which has boomed in the last five years and resulted in a drop in energy prices. The company is also making investments in Europe’s emerging shale gas sector.
The EIA and Australian government estimate the country’s shale gas reserves to be around 400 trillion cubic feet. Australian oil company Santos is already extracting shale gas from a well in the Cooper basin, which straddles the Queensland-South Australia border.