Chevron and Shell have won deepwater exploration rights off Western Australia, in a potential gas area.

Chevron, the largest holder of Australia’s untapped natural gas resources, will have a 50% interest in the Exmouth Plateau region, located in the deepwater frontier of the hydrocarbon-rich Carnarvon Basin.

Chevron and Shell plan to begin seismic tests at the permit by early 2010 and drill an exploration well within the first three years.

Ownership of the project will be divided equally between the companies.