AUSTRALIAN company AWE limited was awarded a new exploration permit in the North Carnarvon basin in April as part of the Australia 2013 Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release.

The 56,000 hectare permit area, formerly known as W13-18, is located in the Exmouth sub-basin, immediately adjacent to the producing Pyrenees, Vincent and Coniston oilfields and north of the Macedon Gas Field.

AWE holds a six year exploration permit over the area now known as WA-497-P, which covers water depths of between 150 metres and 500 metres.

In the first year, AWE has committed to reprocess the existing permit-wide 3D seismic data using the same state-of-the-art technology that was successfully applied to upgrade the prospectivity in a number of AWE assets such as the Ande Ande Lumut, La Bella and Tui fields.

AWE general manager of exploration and geoscience Neil Tupper said AWE had identified a significant new play concept in addition to the proven plays in adjacent permits in an initial survey of the project area.

“Exploration permit WA-497-P contains a number of interesting prospects that complement AWE’s strength’s in sub-surface appraisal and early stage development,” he said.

“The North Carnarvon Basin features some significant producing projects and we are looking forward to evaluating the potential of exploration permit WA-497-P,” he said.

Another three blocks from the 2013 acreage release have been re-released for bidding – permit areas W13-16 and W13-17 in the Exmouth sub-basin and permit W13-15 in the Exmouth Plateau.

Bids for the three blocks are due by 2 October 2014.