In an Australian first, explorers will soon be on the hunt for Queensland gas to exclusively supply to local manufacturers.
Queensland Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham announced Thursday that tenders opened for an 18 square kilometre block in the proven Surat Basin gasfields.
Any gas produced can only be sold to an Australian manufacturer – another first for Queensland, which last year released the first land for gas only for the domestic market.
“We know that an industry affected by the nation’s domestic gas shortage has been manufacturing – an industry which has been crying out for a stable, reliable gas supply,” Dr Lynham said.
“Once again, Queensland is doing the heavy lifting on gas policy stepping up to provide a boost to our manufacturing industry by supplying gas they need.
“We continue to deliver on our election commitments to unlock gas land to ensure supply to our manufacturers, as creators of jobs and business opportunities for thousands of Queenslanders.”
Queensland Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick welcomed the initiative.
“There are a number of manufacturing industries in Queensland for whom gas is a key input and access to a reliable supply of affordably priced gas is critical to the ongoing viability of those industries,” he said.
“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to working with the gas industry to deliver a sustainable solution that continues to facilitate the exploration and development of our gas resources alongside a growing and dynamic manufacturing sector.”
Dr Lynham announced Australia’s first release of gas land to supply the domestic market only in February 2017.
Since then, almost another 25 000 km2 has been released for in Queensland for gas exploration, almost a third of it for the domestic market only.
The latest block to go to tender is 22 km south west of Chinchilla.
Last month, Senex announced go-ahead for its Project Atlas in the Surat Basin on the first 58 km2 release of land the Queensland Government granted for domestic-only gas production in March 2018.
Dr Lynham also announced today the latest successful tenders – Armour Energy and a Shell/Santos joint venture – for two more domestic-only blocks of land in the gas rich Surat and Bowen Basins.
“Armour will add to their existing domestic-only portfolio with an additional 457 square kilometres of land 10 kilometre south of Surat, and in a joint venture agreement, Santos and Shell will soon be exploring a 393 square kilometre parcel of land 19km east of Surat,” he said.
“These land releases mean more petajoules in pipes and more gas for Australia’s east coast.
“Queensland continues to do lead the nation on gas and again, I’m imploring other states to follow our lead – doing so will secure industry and jobs, and not just in Queensland,” Dr Lynham said.
Before exploration can begin, successful tendering companies will need to fulfil native title and environmental requirements and negotiate land access agreements.
Tenders for the exploration area close at 2.30 pm (AEST) on 14 March 2019.