Native title agreement paves way for Kimberley production

Buru Energy’s tenements in the Canning Basin.

By Courtney Pearson

April 7, 2015

WA explorer Buru Energy is closer to commercially producing oil in the Kimberley after receiving final approval from native title holders.

The Yawuru people authorised Buru Energy to use the land containing the Ungani oil field, about 150km east of Broome.

At the start of March the company received the green light from other Traditional Owners, the Nyikina Mangala and Karajarri Yanja people.

“This is the first Native Title Agreement for onshore oil production in the Kimberley,” Buru Energy executive chairman Eric Streitberg said at the time.

“It represents a major step forward in the environmentally and culturally appropriate resource development of the Kimberley.”

Buru Energy completed a test production program at the field in 2014 which “outperformed expectations”, but the size of the resource was still uncertain. The company planned to upgrade the facilities for future production.

Native title discussions were ongoing for more than two years and further complicated by changes to management and advisers.

The oil field was discovered in 2011 after drilling the Ungani-1 well in EP 391 within the onshore Canning Superbasin. The project is owned by Buru Energy in 50:50 joint venture with Mitsubishi Corporation.

The discovery of the Ungani field was the first conventional onshore oil find in WA in 10 years.