The far south west corner of the state could soon be the next boom region for Queensland’s resources sector with the government announcing a new plan to open up the gas and oil rich Cooper Basin.
Three days before Christmas, Mines Minister, Andrew Cripps released the Cooper Basin Industry Development Strategy aimed at encouraging exploration and investment in the area.
“The deep gas and oil resources in the Cooper Basin represent a new and significant opportunity for regional development and jobs in the Barcoo, Bulloo and Quilpie shires,” Mr Cripps said.
“Developing deep gas and oil will have long-term economic benefits for both the region and the state, by leading regional development and employment opportunities, boosting royalties and increasing gas supplies to the Australian Eastern Gas Market.”
Mr Cripps said the Cooper Basin contained vast natural gas and oil resources and was considered one of Australia’s most prospective and commercially-viable regions for deep gas and oil development.
“It is estimated that at current levels of demand in the Australian East Coast Gas Market, there is potentially well over 100 years of gas resource in the basin,” he said.
“The emerging deep gas and oil industry is currently in the early stage of exploration, so a lot more needs to be done to better understand the geology and how the resources can be extracted in a responsible, cost-effective manner.
“This exploration will build on current levels of investment in Queensland’s petroleum and gas industry, which in 2013-14 was more than $612 million, making Queensland’s petroleum exploration spend the second highest in Australia, behind Western Australia.”
Mr Cripps said the Newman Government would ensure the community was fully informed about any activities, risk mitigation strategies, performance standards, compliance and monitoring, to help build community confidence in this emerging industry.
“We also recognise the Cooper Basin underlies areas of significant environmental value, which we have been declared strategic environmental areas under the Regional Planning Interests Act 2014, ensuring the potential impacts of resource activities and other regulated activities are managed carefully.”
Beach Energy Managing Director Reg Nelson welcomed the strategy and said the Newman Government had clearly listened to industry by being proactive in seeking to address the challenges of the Australian Eastern Gas Market.
“Beach’s exploration for deep gas in the Cooper Basin has delivered encouraging results to date and the governments understand the challenges we face in extracting this gas commercially.
“Investment in deep gas exploration through easier to access geological data, the development of flexible tenure arrangements and working across borders, will incentivise others to invest more into Queensland and give the industry the best chance of success,” Mr Nelson said.
More information about the Cooper Basin Industry Development Strategy is available at https://www.dnrm.qld.gov.au/our-department/policies-initiatives/mining-resources/cooper-basin-industry-development-strategy
Media contact: Kate Haddan 0418 373 516
NOTES FOR THE EDITOR:
Key actions in the Cooper Basin Industry Development Strategy includes:
- Releasing new areas for exploration in the Cooper Basin during 2015 and beyond and promoting these land releases to national and international markets;
- Making more high quality geological and geophysical data available to industry online;
- Negotiating a Memorandum of Understanding between Queensland and South Australia identifying opportunities to encourage investment and facilitate cross border operations;
- Delivering more practical and flexible tenure arrangements for industry;
- Developing a Cooper Basin Water Strategy to protect local water users and ensure responsible and productive use of water resources in the Basin;
- Establish a Cooper Basin Ministerial working group with representatives from the community and industry groups;
Undertake regular community engagement sessions in the Cooper Basin.