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Otway Basin South Australia


The Otway Basin is approximately 500km long from Cape Jaffa in South Australia to north-west Tasmania, covering both onshore and offshore.

Beach Energy is the permit holder of Petroleum Production License 62 (PPL62) where it operates the Katnook Gas Processing Facility, just south of Penola. This facility processes natural gas from nearby wells for supply to local homes and businesses.

Beach’s operations in the South Australian Otway Basin have been supported by grants from the South Australian Government’s PACE scheme, and the Commonwealth Government’s GAP scheme – both with objectives to bring new gas into the local energy market.

Drilling of the Haselgrove 3 ST1 well

In September 2017, Beach commenced drilling Haselgrove-3 targeting the Sawpit Sandstone and shallower Pretty Hill Sandstone, and in January 2018 Haselgrove-3 was announced as a new natural gas field discovery.

In 2019, Beach drilled the Haselgrove-4 appraisal well and the Dombey-1 exploration well.

Beach has also developed a new gas processing facility, commissioning the redeveloped Katnook Gas Processing Facility, with first gas delivered in January 2020.



Beach Energy has released a draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and its accompanying Statement of Environmental Objectives (SEO) for Geophysical Operations in the onshore Otway Basin, South Australia.

Click here for the South East Survey consultation site

Beach’s Regional Manager (South East SA) Jon Conti

Key facts

  • Safety and environmental sustainability are priorities for Beach, and only proven technologies are used in our operations
  • Beach does not undertake any fracture stimulation (fracking) activities in the South Australian Otway Basin
  • More than 100 oil and gas wells have been drilled in the Onshore Otway Basin, with the first exploration well drilled in the South East in 1880’s
  • Beach was first active in the region in the early 1960’s
  • Beach is a supporter of local industry – more than $1.4 million was spent on procuring local goods and services during the drilling of Haselgrove-3


The Otway Basin is a northwest-striking, rifted passive continental margin located along the southern margin of the Australian continent. It forms part of the Australian Southern Rift System, a zone that has resulted from Jurassic-Tertiary rifting and break-up between the Australian and Antarctic plates.

In the onshore portion of the Otway Basin, five major depocentres related to rifting events have been identified including the Robe, Penola, Tantanoola, St Clair and Rivoli Troughs. These geological provinces are filled (up to 5km deep) with thick sediments of the Crayfish Group – a package of sedimentological rock sequences deposited over millions of years.

The Penola Trough, where Beach Energy holds the majority of its exploration licenses in the South East has been explored for hydrocarbons for over 100 years. Hydrocarbons are generated in the Casterton Formation, and have migrated over time into the reservoirs of the Sawpit and Pretty Hill Sandstones, which have been the main reservoir targets for oil and gas exploration and production.

Further information

Beach is committed to keeping the local community informed of its operations in the region and has a full time Regional Manager based in the South East.

Penola Regional Office
48 Church Street Penola

Jon Conti
Regional Manager

For more information on the petroleum industry regulatory processes in South Australia please visit: