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Fiji has no history of oil or gas production. However, some exploration activity began in 1968 when oil seeps were recognised in neighbouring Tonga.
From 1969 to 1970 reconnaissance mapping identified a number of offshore basins and the first exploration licence, covering the Bligh Water Basin, was awarded with 1,590 kms of seismic data acquired. In 1971 and 1972 four further licences were awarded covering the western Yasawa Platform, the central Lau Ridge, the Bau Waters Basin and the Baravi Basin.
A total of 1,585 kms of seismic data were acquired in these concessions from 1971 to 1975. After 4,433 kms of regional speculative seismic data was added all licences expired in 1977.
In 1977 a concession was awarded in the Bau Waters Basin and western Koro Sea and over 1,400 kms of seismic data were acquired here. In 1978 three exploration licences were then awarded over the Bligh Water Basin, the Yasawa Platform and the Great Sea Reefs Platform with 6,050 km of seismic data acquired.
Drilling followed with 2 offshore wells in 1980 and 4 wells in 1981 and 1982, two of which drilled on an island. All 7 wells were drilled to test Tertiary reef limestones but none were successful and by 1987 all the licences had expired.
However, the wells identified source rocks and encountered minor oil and gas shows. In 1987 small quantities of oil were also reported in a number of shallow sediment cores taken from the sea bed in the Bligh Water basin off Tavua, originating from Tertiary sediments.
No drilling has been carried out since 1982 and Globalshift forecasts no oil or gas production is likely in Fiji over the short and medium term.
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