Bass Oil looks for new opportunity in Indonesia, Australia
MELBOURNE - Bass Oil Limited has increased its focus on expansion plans -- with potential Australian acquisition opportunities now on the company's radar for the first time, as well as increased activity in Indonesia. The Company says it intends to leverage its existing profitable production operations in Indonesia to grow via acquisition and exploration and development.
Primarily an onshore Indonesian oil producer, Melbourne-based Bass has been seeking for some time to expand its exploration, development and production assets around its existing Sumatran production footprint and elsewhere in South East Asia - and says the market is now right to include potential Australian acquisitions in its scope.
"The global oil market hit the doldrums last year due principally due to the oil price and consumption collapse resulting from COVID-19's economic, social and workplace disruptions," Bass Oil Managing Director, Tino Guglielmo, said. "We found ourselves in a position then of basically putting all business development on hold for 12 months and mounting a cost watch approach."
Guglielmo said the oil price rise since last November's lows had injected new confidence into the longer-term oil market outlook, underpinned by emerging optimism that a post-COVID recovery would boost oil demand.
"That has provided the right environment for Bass Oil to reactivate our expansion plans, sidestep some of the higher price, less-value-adding assets offered to the Company for consideration in recent years, and focus in 2021 on those opportunities where price, existing and future development-production upside satisfy our own parameters for acquisition," he said.
In that context, the Australian energy market - where onshore oil-gas exploration spend now exceeded domestic offshore exploration spend -- provided a welcome and fresh environment of opportunity.
Guglielmo said the availability of oil assets for acquisition in Australia was rising. The domestic energy sector, he said, had moved to focus on renewables and transition fuels, but the more-ignored local oil sector offered ongoing upside through price, revised strategic fuel storage policies and as a solution to energy-based sovereign risk issues to Australia's north.
"Bass Oil has no debt and has reduced its total operating costs to around US$20 per barrel, helping insulate the Company from volatility in the crude oil market over the past 12 months, he said. The greatest oil uptake in 2021 was expected in the US and Chinese economies as these two powerhouses recovered from COVID impacts and lifted demand.