SYDNEY, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) -- A consortium of energy companies announced on Monday they have discovered a new oil field off the coast of Western Australia in the biggest oil strike in Australia in 20 years.
The Phoenix South-1 well, 180 kilometers north of Port Hedland, is the consortium's first oil discovery in Australia's offshore Canning Basin, and has the potential to hold as much as 300 million barrels of crude.
Adrian Cook, managing director of Carnarvon Petroleum, one of three junior partners in the venture, said the discovery represents one of the most significant developments in Australian oil and gas in recent times.
"This is the most significant new oil play in the North West Shelf since the Enfield discovery opened up the Exmouth Basin almost 20 years ago," he said in a statement.
"The implications on the rest of our acreage are still being assessed, but the potential is extraordinary."
Cook said the discovery of oil in the Phoenix South-1 well in WA-435-P has significant implications for the rest of the permit and the surrounding 20,000 square kilometers.
Carnarvon owns 20 percent of the WA-435-P drilling venture, as do Japan's JX Nippon and unlisted Finder Exploration, while U.S.- based Apache owns 40 percent and is the operator.