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BP and Chevron are set to make an investment of A$116.5m ($80.11m) towards new oil and gas exploration activities, with majority of the amount planned for South Australian projects.

Under this initiative, both the firms plan to increase energy supplies in the state and south-eastern Australia. The latest news comes after the completion of Good Standing Agreement negotiations with BP and Chevron, following their decision to end petroleum exploration in the Great Australian Bight.

Northern Australia Minister for Resources Matt Canavan said: “BP and Chevron ceased their programmes of exploration in the Great Australian Bight in 2017 and 2018 respectively.

“Australia’s offshore oil and gas policy ensures that companies which commit to a programme of exploration deliver on that commitment under the Government’s Good Standing Agreement policy.”

Canavan added that companies are motivated to re-direct exploration investment within Australia in cases where commitments are not met. This policy maintains the exploration investment pipeline in Australia and supports new petroleum discoveries as well as future energy security.

South Australia Minister for Energy and Mining Dan van Holst Pellekaan said: “It is excellent news for the South Australian resources sector that almost $60m ($41.2m) will be invested in our state as a result of the Good Standing Agreement.

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“This investment will help tap the immense promise of South Australia’s resources sector driving job creation, investment and royalties in South Australia.”

The companies currently have three years to deliver on their committed investments, with BP set to invest A$40.6m ($27.9m) and Chevron investing A$75.9m ($52.1m) by October and September 2022, respectively. Both companies are in the process of finalising contractual negotiations for a wide range of regional studies with third party supporters.