Bass Strait Oil Company was awarded its first Gippsland Basin permit in 1998 and was listed on the Australian Stock Exchange in 2004 (ASX code: BAS). To date the Company has maintained a clear exploration focus on the prolific southeast Australia region and is lead by experienced industry professionals. It has built a permit portfolio that comprises approximately 15,000 km 2 across five offshore and two onshore permits in the productive Gippsland and Otway Basins.
Bass Strait Oil Company's current portfolio is based on the prospectivity of these productive southeast Australia basins. The drivers for this include; access to prospects of material scale in world-class basins, a database of modern 3D seismic data defining new targets and play types, regional infrastructure, a strong gas market, the benefits of Australia's stable low-cost jurisdiction and the fundamental long-term value of oil and gas resources.
Across its permit portfolio, BAS has retained operatorship of its joint ventures (currently 7 of 8 permits) and typically holds large permit interests. This approach tends to optimise the benefits of the control of exploration direction, as well as to maximise the Company's leverage to potential success.
BAS has safely operated the drilling of five offshore wells since 2001 and operated, or participated in, a number of 2D and 3D seismic surveys. Two of the Company's wells were non-commercial hydrocarbon discoveries: gas at Moby-1 in 2004 and gas/condensate at Zane Grey-1 in 2005.
BAS has also continually invested in seismic data and modern exploration technologies allowing it to assemble an extensive database, including over 10,000 sq km of 3D seismic in the offshore Gippsland Basin. All of this 3D data has been acquired since 2001, adding significant value to the Company's acreage position and underpinning the Company's exploration program.
The Company is currently rationalising the existing portfolio to be able to focus on those high impact targets providing maximum value for shareholders. In this regard, farmout discussions relating to the offshore Gippsland permits are ongoing.
The Company is also seeking to diversify its portfolio and has identified onshore oil and gas plays in Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia as areas of interest for future investment. The Company intends to pursue opportunities in these regions with the view to building a balanced portfolio of production, appraisal and exploration opportunities with a weighting more towards shorter cycle, incremental growth.