Japanese oil company Inpex, through its subsidiary INPEX Browse E&P, has secured an exploration permit for Release Area WA-533-P as operator in Australia.

The permit award is part of the government’s 2017 offshore petroleum exploration acreage release.

Inpex Browse will hold a 100% participating interest in the block, which is located off the northern coast of Western Australia.

The company intends to undertake exploration activities in the block, which covers a surface area of 12,402km² and has water depth ranging between 50m and 600m.

The block is located on an offshore extension of the onshore Canning Basin where companies discovered and developed oil and gas fields.

“INPEX’s proactive exploration activities in Australia are expected to contribute to the continuous enhancement of the company’s E&P activities.”

Prior to the awarding of the permit, INPEX Group companies had 21 offshore exploration blocks in Australia.

In a statement, Inpex said: “INPEX’s proactive exploration activities in Australia are expected to contribute to the continuous enhancement of the company’s E&P activities, positioned as one of the growth targets outlined in INPEX’s medium-to-long-term vision.”

The Australian Government’s annual Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release is aimed at promoting petroleum exploration off the coast of the country by providing explorers with new offshore areas.

Under the 2017 acreage release, the government put up for consideration 21 areas located across eight sedimentary basins in Commonwealth waters offshore Northern Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and the Ashmore and Cartier Islands.