The South Australian Government committed A$22.5 million in funding for 2004–09 to attract further mineral and petroleum exploration investment in a new program called PACE — Plan for ACcelerating Exploration. The initiative included funding of $2m/y available for collaborative drilling over the full five years. PACE collaborative drilling has provided a significant boost to exploration in South Australia when considering that, as part of the initiative, industry will match this, taking the total to $20m over five years.
In 2007 the original $22.5m five-year PACE initiative for Theme 2 was extended by two years with total funding of $30.9m through to 2011.
PACE aims to provide best-practice industry standard geoscientific information, facilitate land access for exploration, facilitate development of multiple land use policies, and provide enhanced educational resources.
PACE funding is available for proposals from industry to undertake cooperative petroleum or geothermal exploration drilling projects, jointly funded by the proponent company and Department of State Development (formerly DMITRE). The primary aim is accelerated exploration success for South Australia. Five rounds of PACE drilling grants have been held: Rounds 2 and 3 (2005), Round 4 (2006) and Round 5 (2007) have included petroleum and geothermal projects.
In the first call in 2004, 27 mineral grant applications were successful and funding totalling A$1.75 million awarded. In Round 2 in early 2005, nearly 70 proposals were received and 44 were granted funding totalling A$2.4 million. Three geothermal submissions (Eden Energy Ltd, Petratherm Ltd and Scopenergy Ltd) were granted a total funding of A$291 000 under Round 2. Petratherm and Scopenergy has completed their PACE programs.
In December 2005 the South Australian Government released the results of the collaborative drilling bids under Round 3. Nearly 80 proposals were submitted and A$2 million in grants were allocated to 35 companies. One petroleum and two geothermal bids were successful. Stuart Petroleum Ltd, Geothermal Resources Ltd and Green Rock Energy Ltd received funding of A$100 000, A$100 000 and A$68 000 respectively.
In December 2006 the South Australian Government released the results of the collaborative drilling bids under Round 4. Nearly 80 proposals were submitted and A$2 million in grants were allocated to 33 companies. Three geothermal bids were successful. Torrens Energy Ltd, Eden Energy Ltd and Geodynamics Ltd. Torrens Energy and Geodynamics have withdrawn their applications, whilst Eden drilled in December 2007 and has completed its PACE project.
Round 5 was announced in August 2007. The Department of State Development received 66 proposals and $2m in grants were allocated to 29 companies. Three petroleum/geothermal bids were successful: Torrens Energy, SAPEX Limited and Petratherm all received funding of $100 000.
More detailed information on the PACE initiative is available on the Department of State Developments's Minerals website.
|Grant ||Date ||Recipient ||Project ||Amount ($) |
|PACE 2 ||April 2005 ||Petratherm ||Paralana Geothermal Project, South Australia ||140 000 |
|PACE 2||April 2005||Scopenergy ||Limestone Coast Geothermal Project, South Australia ||130 000 |
|PACE 2||April 2005||Eden Energy ||Witchellina Project, South Australia||21 000 |
|PACE 3 ||December 2005 ||Geothermal Resources ||Curnamona Geothermal Project, South Australia ||100 000 |
|PACE 3||December 2005||Stuart Petroleum ||Fractured basement play Worrior field ||100 00 |
|PACE 3||December 2005||Green Rock Energy ||Lake Blanche Project (withdrawn) ||68 000 |
|PACE 4 ||December 2006||Torrens Energy ||Heatflow exploration in the Adelaide Geosyncline (withdrawn) ||100 000 |
|PACE 4||December 2006||Eden Energy ||Renmark (Chowilla) Geothermal Project, South Australia ||100 000 |
|PACE 4||December 2006||Geodynamics ||High temperature borehole image logging of Habanero 3, Cooper Basin, South Australia (withdrawn) ||100 000 |
|PACE 5 ||February 2008 ||Torrens Energy ||Parachilna 2D seismic ||100 000 |
|PACE 5||February 2008||SAPEX Ltd ||Arckaringa Basin CSG Drilling Project ||100 000 |
|PACE 5||February 2008||Petratherm ||Evaluation of shear wave splitting as an exploration tool ||100 000 |
|PACE 6||May 2010 ||Gradient Energy Ltd ||Leigh Creek Temperature, Adelaide Geosyncline |
|PACE 6||May 2010||Strike Energy Ltd ||Coal Seam Gas, Eromanga / Lake Eyre Basins |
|PACE 6||May 2010||Terratherma Ltd ||Coorichina, Torrens HInge Zone |