ADELAIDE-based Bight Petroleum has received approval to undertake a planned 3D marine seismic survey near Kangaroo Island in the under-explored Bight basin, prompting the company to kick off its search for a project partner.

The company lodged an environment plan application with the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority under the new streamlined system which was set out by the Federal Government on 1 March, 2013.

Bight Petroleum chief executive Matthew Philipchuk said the process had been an onerous one.

“It has been a lengthy process leading up to the lodgement, involving consultation with stakeholders and expert advisors to ensure environmental best practices,” he said.

“Following this important milestone we will now focus our efforts on selecting a partner to share in the evaluation of this world class opportunity.”

The relatively under explored, yet highly prospective, Bight basin has recently attracted the interest of the majors, with BP, Statoil, Chevron, Murphy Australia Oil and Santos committing well over $1.1 billion in combined guaranteed work programs along trend in the Great Australian Bight.

Bight Petroleum has had its eye on the basin for some time.

In 2011, the company was granted two exploration permits for petroleum totalling 8,500 square kilometres in the eastern Bight basin.

Bight Petroleum has committed to a work program with guaranteed expenditures that include the acquisition of 93,500 hectares of 3D seismic on EPP 41 and EPP 42 in year one, followed by the drilling of one well in EPP 41 in year three.

Year one for EPP 41 & EPP 42 is planned to start on 6 July