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Australia made the greatest gain in history toward self-sufficiency of petroleum as the prolific Gippsland basin fields of Victoria began coming into production. Commencing production in March, Halibut field was producing 200,000 BOPD by December 1970. Significant natural gas discoveries in South Australia indicated major reserves, and at year end provided a possible contender with the fields in Victoria to supply the major Sydney market. Continued successful developments at Dongara, 200 mi north of Perth, Western Australia, demonstrated sufficient reserves for Western Australia Natural Gas (WANG) to announce plans to build a gas pipeline to Perth.
In spite of a generally pessimistic outlook by industry relative to incentives, crude price, and success, there was a notable increase in wildcat drilling in 1970 over 1969.
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