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Tender extended for gas operation


An oil and gas partnership has signed another gas contract for a plant in Central Australia.

The South Australian Cooper Basin Joint Venture recently secured a gas contract extension for Qenos’ Moomba Gas Plant, about 800km north of Adelaide.

Years of job security

The agreement means joint venture partners Santos and Beach Energy will continue supplying ethane gas to Qenos for another six years.

Qenos will process the gas at the plant and transport the final product to its Botany Bay operations in New South Wales where it employs more than 500 workers.

Work is already underway and up to 15 petajoules of ethane will be supplied each year through to the end of 2025.

“Santos is continuing to invest in new natural gas supply for the domestic market around the nation, including in the Cooper Basin where we increased production last year for the second year in a row and drilled a record 115 wells,” Santos managing director and CEO Kevin Gallagher said in a public statement. “Here in NSW, we want to bring the Narrabri Gas Project to fruition.”

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Prime Minister Scott Morrison and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian have separately approved a $2 billion deal to add another 70 petajoules of gas into the national electricity grid annually.

That agreement included jointly underwriting interconnectors between the Snowy Mountains region and Sydney as well as a link between NSW and Queensland. It depends on Santos’ Narrabri Gas Project receiving final approval and there is potential to add Port Kembla and Newcastle to the mix.

The State Government is facing growing support to lift barriers to supplying coal to the Mount Piper Power Station, which is expected to close in the year 2042.

‘Ensuring’ Australian jobs

“[It is about] ensuring Australians can go about their jobs, the jobs they have today, the jobs they are going to continue to have into the future,” the PM said at a press conference according to the Australian Associated Press.

Morrison rejected any proposal for a carbon tax and instead believes in “meeting and beating” emissions reduction targets.

Further deals are expected to be signed with other states and territories in the coming months, with SA expected to be next in line.

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