Oil and Gas
The first signs of oil in Western Australia were reported in the early 1900s at Warren River near the State’s south coast. The indications proved to be illusory as wells were drilled without success. The story of the first fifty years of oil and gas exploration mirrors carried on from these early frustrations and failures.
Large-scale exploration for oil began in 1952 when the government-owned West Australian Petroleum Pty Ltd (Wapet) began operating in the Carnarvon,
Canning and Perth basins. Using more modern exploration techniques, Wapet struck oil at Rough Range in the Carnarvon Basin in 1953. Even though the reserves of oil were small and uneconomic this was a turning point
for oil exploration in Western Australia, and for Australia as a whole, as investors became convinced for the first time that oil and gas could be found.
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