Ashmore Cartier

Timor Sea Oil and Gas Fields

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  • The Ashmore and Cartier Islands are off Australia's northwest coast.
  • The islands and surrounding waters are administered by the Northern Territory on behalf of the Commonwealth.
  • The Ashmore and Cartier Islands and surrounding waters cover 77,187 square kilometres.


  • October 1994 - The Laminaria oil field was discovered.
  • December 1995 - The nearby Corallina oil field was discovered.
  • Other discoveries include the Jabiru, Challis/Cassini, Skua, Talbot, Puffin and Tenacious oil fields, Montara, Bilyara and Oliver oil and gas fields, Tahbilk and Padthaway gas fields.


  • There is approximately one exploration well per 670 square kilometres in this area.
  • The area has demonstrated petroleum prospectivity.
  • Exploration effort accelerated after the 1983 discovery of the Jabiru field, but declined later as success rates were disappointing and oil prices plummeted.
  • However, recent discoveries of the Laminaria, Corallina and Tenacious oil fields in the region combined with buoyant oil prices, have revived interest among petroleum companies.
  • The giant multi-client 3D seismic surveys covering this area has increased petroleum activities and expectations of the Ashmore Cartier Area.


  • Oil was produced from the Jabiru and Challis/Cassini floating production facilities at a combined average rate of around 10,756 barrels (1,717 cubic metres) per day in 1999.
  • Skua field reached the end of its economic field life and ceased production in February 1997.
  • The Skua offshore production facilities have been moved to the Elang field in Zone of Cooperation, Area A.
  • The Laminaria/Corallina fields are being produced by one of the world’s largest floating production facilities, the Northern Endeavour. The Floating Production, Storage and Offtake (FPSO) vessel has a capacity of 170,000 barrels per day.

Current at 12/12/01


Petroleum Developments

Office of Territory Development
GPO Box 4396
Ph: 61 8 8999 5425
Fax: 61 8 8999 5191