US firm claims Australia's biggest oil find in 30 years

Apache claims Australia's biggest oil find in 30 years

US oil and energy firm Apache Corp. (NYSE:APA) said Monday an exploration well offshore Western Australia state had found as much as 300 million barrels of crude, potentially the country’s largest oil discovery in the last 30 years.

The drilling result from the Phoenix South-1 well in the offshore Canning Basin, said the company in a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange, may herald a new oil “province” for the country.

Shares of Apache’s exploration partner Carnarvon Petroleum (ASX:CVN), which holds a 20% stake in the venture, jumped the most in 24 years on the news.

Carnarvon CEO Adrian Cook told ABC Radio the well is located in an area that has remain untouched for almost 20 years.

"It's actually a new oil province, outside of the Carnarvon Basin proper," he told ABC.

"It's very lightly explored. It's a very large area. In fact, we have some 20,000 square kilometres of acreage holding here,” he added.

Apache, which is currently considering selling its Australian assets, said it would continue to drill more wells with its partners Carnarvon Petroleum, Finder Exploration and JX Nippon.