Mines Minister George Cash today acknowledged the important role that Thevanard Island had played in the development of the State's petroleum industry.
The island, located about 20 kilometres from Onslow on the North West Shelf, yesterday (Saturday) processed its 100 millionth barrel of oil.
The milestone was reached after Western Australian Petroleum Pty Ltd (WAPET) drew its first supplies of oil from the Saladin field, north of the island, in November, 1989.
The island receives hydrocarbons from the three production platforms over the offshore Saladin field. Product from this source, as well as from nearby fields at Yammadery, Cowle, Roller-Skate and Crest, is channelled to Thevanard Island for processing.
The oil component is shipped away via offshore loading stations, while marketable gas is piped to an onshore facility at Tubridgi, south west of Onslow.
Oilfields in the Thevanard Island area are among the most productive in the State, with production currently running at just under 50,000 barrels per day.
"Liquid hydrocarbons from the area have been very significant over the last six years, to a point where they have helped lift the North West Shelf above Bass Strait as the nation's premier oil-producing region," Mr Cash said.
In 1994-95, the value of petroleum produced in Western Australia rose by 40 per cent to more than $3.6 billion, accounting for more than a quarter of WA's combined mineral and petroleum production of $13.8 billion.
"This is the first time that petroleum (including LNG) has achieved the status of WA's leading resource commodity, but it is a position I am confident will be consolidated in the years ahead," Mr Cash said.
"With a record amount of acreage currently under exploration in WA, it is likely that further significant discoveries of oil and gas will be made in the future."
Oilfields in the Thevanard Island area have also provided more than half a billion dollars in excise and royalty payments to the Commonwealth and State Governments since 1989.
Media contact: Carolyn Vicars 222 9699