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    BPH mulls legal action over NSW permit


Recent media reports suggest former Australian prime minister Scott Morrison used his ministerial powers to block the PEP-11 gas exploration licence off New South Wales.

by: Shardul Sharma

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BPH mulls legal action over NSW permit

Sydney-listed BPH Energy on August 23 said it is exploring options, including potential for legal channels, in light of the recent media reports regarding former Australian prime minister Scott Morrison's use of ministerial powers to block the PEP-11 gas exploration licence off the coast of New South Wales (NSW).

In June 2022, Asset Energy started proceedings in the federal court of Australia alleging that Morrison was biased and failed to afford procedural fairness in his decision not to grant an extension of term and a suspension and variation of the minimum work requirements under PEP-11.


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Advent is the operator of the permit through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Asset Energy, in a joint venture with Bounty Oil & Gas. BPH holds a passive interest in unlisted Advent.  

“Following recent revelations that Scott Morrison took responsibility in a number of portfolios including resources, prime minister Anthony Albanese has sought advice as to whether Mr Morrison's appointments and decisions (which includes the PEP-11 decision) were beyond power,” BPH said.

Advent has received a copy of the environmental plan for PEP-11 Baleen well from the energy environmental consultancy Xodus group and is currently being reviewed prior to release. The plan is a prerequisite for the planned drilling of the Baleen well. It will be released as part of the regulated process under the government environmental regulator authority NOPSEMA.

Advent submitted to the National Offshore Petroleum Titles Administrator (NOPTA) an application to enable the drilling of Seablue-1 about 26 km of Newcastle offshore NSW.

The PEP-11 joint venture proposes to proceed with the drilling of Seablue subject to approvals from NOPTA and other regulatory authorities, and financing. The current permit expiry date is February 2021. The permit remains in place and in good standing during the NOPTA review period. The initial application was refused, BPH said.