A national energy infrastructure operator will build a new natural gas pipeline in southwest Queensland that will be for domestic use only.
In a bid to ease the ongoing domestic gas shortage, Jemena will build its $140 million Atlas Gas Pipeline Project in the Surat Basin.
The project is touted to deliver Queensland’s first “domestic-only” gas supply and the State Department of Natural Resources and Mines has already awarded a petroleum facility licence that allows the proponent to start constructing a gas processing plant near Wandoan, 279km northwest of Toowoomba in the Western Downs.
The 40 terrajoule/day plant will process and transport gas between Senex Energy’s Project Atlas and the Wallumbilla Gas Hub, creating 150 jobs throughout the construction phase.
“This is a win for people in regional Queensland,” Jemena managing director Frank Tudor said in a public statement. “In the coming weeks and months we will be holding a series of information sessions across the region to discuss the project, outline job and other opportunities, and to hear directly from the community about how they would like to be involved.”
Senex said the latest licence will help bring the project closer to construction.
“This approval brings that outcome closer, keeping us on schedule to deliver gas from Project Atlas by the end of 2019,” Senex managing director and CEO Ian Davies said in a public statement. “The decision also keeps us on-track to create further jobs in construction and operations as well as business opportunities in the Western Downs.”
Project Atlas is situated on 58 sq km of land the State Government granted in March 2018 for domestic-only gas production. Almost 25,000 sq km has been released for gas exploration since early 2017, with almost a third of it being reserved for domestic consumption.
“From Senex’s production field to Jemena’s processing and transportation to customers, this gas will stay in Australia to power local jobs,” State Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said in a public statement. “Queensland has a pipeline of almost $25 billion worth of publicly announced or committed resources projects that will provide resources jobs well into the future.”