Chevron Australia has terminated its Great Australian Bight exploration programme, citing the current low oil price environment and inability to compete for capital in its global portfolio.

Great Australian Bight is in the offshore Western Australian region, and considered to be one of most prospective hydrocarbon regions in the country.

Chevron Australia managing director Nigel Hearne said: “We appreciate the strong support from governments, regulators and the local community for our plans to explore for hydrocarbons offshore South Australia.

“We are confident the Great Australian Bight can be developed safely and responsibly and we will work closely with the interested stakeholders to help realise its potential.”

The company stated that the decision to discontinue exploration was a commercial one and not due to any government policy, regulatory, community or environmental concerns.

“We are confident the Great Australian Bight can be developed safely and responsibly.”

It also expressed its long-term commitment in Australia’s natural gas business.

Hearne added: “Offshore Western Australia is a global focus area for Chevron where we have access to vast natural gas resources and existing infrastructure.

“We have invested billions of dollars in Western Australia to commercialise our large gas resource base through the Chevron-operated Gorgon and Wheatstone LNG and domestic gas facilities and expect to be here for decades to come.”

Recently, the company secured three new exploration blocks in the Northern Carnarvon Basin that strengthens its portfolio of assets in Australia.

Since 2009, Chevron has made more than 25 new discoveries offshore Western Australia.