BLUE Energy will explore what it says is a neglected area of the Cooper basin after it was allocated four new permit areas by the Queensland Government.

The company was allocated permits covering 520,000 hectares on the Northern Flank of the basin on 1 July for a four-year term.

The Ballera-to-Mt Isa gas pipeline traverses one of the permits, ATP 657P – which along with ATP 656P, 658P and 660P is located adjacent to the Inland oilfield, with the Santos-operated Cook and Cuisinier oilfields nearby.

Blue Energy managing director John Phillips said no exploration had been conducted over the permit areas since the mid 1990’s, when they were part of the areas required to be relinquished by the Santos/Delhi-led Joint Venture.

“We are delighted to now be able to undertake exploration activities in this significantly under-explored portion of the Cooper basin, particularly at a time when there is growing interest in the basin acreage, both as a potential source for east coast gas supply plus high value oil discoveries,”

Mr Phillips said the application of modern 3D seismic acquisition and interpretation across the four permit areas would unlock the subtle structural and stratigraphic components of both the Jurassic reservoir systems and the Permian stratigraphic sequences.

These techniques have been successfully used to delineate the Western Flank oil plays in South Australia, he said.