Armour, Shell and Santos to explore for gas

Armour Energy and a Shell/Santos joint venture have won rights to explore for gas across more than 900 square kilometres of land near Surat, in south-west Queensland .

Queensland Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said Armour had won a tender to explore 457 square kilometres of land 10 kilometre south of Surat, and in a joint venture agreement, Santos and Shell had won rights to explore a 393 square kilometre parcel of land 19km east of Surat.

Before exploration can begin, successful tendering companies will need to fulfil native title and environmental requirements and negotiate land access agreements.

Any gas produced on these latest blocks can only be sold in Australia, a Queensland innovation to deal with east coast gas shortages and high prices.

The Queensland Government has also announced a highly prospective 22 sq km block south west of Chinchilla will go to tender, with any gas only available to Australian manufacturers.

Tenders for the exploration area close on March 14 next year.