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Bids close 25 September 2003

Areas NT03-3 to 7 are located in the eastern Bonaparte Basin, 120 to 310 km west of Darwin (Figure 1). Areas NT03-3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 comprise 140, 108, 99, 115 and 89 graticular blocks and partial blocks, with areas of approximately 12,070, 9,275, 8,500, 9,340 and 7,400 km2, respectively. Water depths range from 30 to 100 m but exceed 100 m in the westernmost part of Areas NT03-3 and NT03-4.

The development of the Bayu/Undan gas/condensate accumulation in the Joint Petroleum Development Area (JPDA) includes the construction of an onshore LNG plant and a 470 km subsea pipeline to Darwin. This pipeline would greatly enhance the economics of future gas exploration in this area, which also retains significant oil potential. A recent gas discovery in Western Australian waters, Blacktip-1, has also enhanced the economic equation for gas exploration in these areas.

[Although Australia doesn't say so, the northwest quarter of NT03-3 is in what will probably be determined to be East Timorese territory once the maritime boundary is settled.]


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