AN Australian oil and gas exploration group has potentially uncovered what may be Western Australia’s largest onshore gas discovery in nearly 50 years.

In a recent statement, AWE Limited announced that drilling in the northern Perth Basin has found a new gas field containing 360 billion cubic feet of gas, but may potentially hold up to 1.17 trillion cubic feet.

AWE Limited, which is partnered with Origin Energy for exploration in the Perth Basin, indicated the ‘Senecio-3’ and the new ‘Waitsia’ gas fields combined to be the largest in Western Australia since the Dongara field was discovered in 1966.

AWE managing director Bruce Clement said the find was significant for Western Australian communities.

“This is a fantastic result for AWE, the local mid-west community and for the people of Western Australia. The discovery in the deeper Kingia and High Cliff Sandstones has opened up an exciting new and substantial gas play in the north Perth Basin,” he said.

“Initial evaluation of the Senecio and Waitsia fields has identified 360 Bcf of gross Contingent Resources, which could be brought onto early production, utilising existing gas plant and pipeline infrastructure just 7km from the Senecio-3 location.”

Additionally, Mr Clement added that AWE was continuing exploration.

“There is also substantial upside to this initial estimated gas volume that could be realised by successful appraisal of the Waitsia discovery and exploitation of the unconventional gas potential identified in the Carynginia Shale and the Irwin River Coal Measures,” Mr Clement said.

“We are now focusing on flow testing of Senecio-3 to establish commercial viability and the potential early, low cost development of the Senecio and Waitsia fields.

“If successful, this could deliver significant additional gas into the Western Australia domestic market and provide substantial value to AWE shareholders.”

For more information about the find, click here.