Junior miners and explorers in petroleum and gas look set to benefit from last week’s reforms to the Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004 that will see all current Authority to Prospect exploration work programs extended from four to six years.
The associated relinquishment of 33 per cent of the tenure will also be deferred to the end of the extended 6 year period as part of the reforms.
Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Andrew Cripps said the tenure reforms were designed to encourage the next generation of projects in the petroleum and gas sector in Queensland.
“Industry expressed concerns about the current regulation for petroleum and gas tenures, describing it as cumbersome, duplicative, inflexible and overly-prescriptive,” the Minister said.
“Industry will benefit from more flexible relinquishment arrangements and the ability to amend a work program for an Authority to Prospect.
“We will also speed up the granting of petroleum lease applications by requiring a statement about the presence of commercial quantities of gas instead of the current mandatory requirements for 20 per cent of discovered petroleum to be classified as proven and probable reserves.”
Mr Cripps said the changes would allow companies to get on with business of developing new projects with the certainty required to invest new capital.
“Queensland is open for business and we are in the resources business,” he said.
“This is good news for regional and rural communities that benefit from resource projects going ahead and don’t want economic development delayed by unnecessary red tape and regulation.”