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Exploration, appraisal, and development drilling remained at about the same level in 1983 as in 1982, which was a record for Australia in terms of activity. By comparison, geophysical activity decreased substantially. Four oil discoveries in widely separated basins and in diverse parts of the geologic succession contributed to a heightened air of expectancy in the exploration industry by year end.
The most significant discovery was Jabiru 1A, which flowed 7,000 b/d of 41° oil from Jurassic sandstone in the Vulcan subbasin, 300 km offshore northwestern Australia. Basker 1, on the opposite side of the continent, flowed 5,700 b/d of 42° oil from Upper Cretaceous sandstone in the Gippsland basin, in a discovery deeper in the sequence than the early Tertiary Latrobe pay of this basin.
Near year end, important onshore discoveries were announced. Tintaburra 1 in the Eromanga basin flowed 1,750 BOPD from Jurassic and Cretaceous sandstones. This find is the first significant hydrocarbon showing from Mesozoic formations lacking underlying Permian Cooper basin section. Oil was recovered on test from a lower Tertiary unit in Lindon 1 in the Otway basin, where discoveries had been restricted to Cretaceous zones.
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