More than 6600 square kilometres of unexplored land in gas-rich Queensland is to be opened up for exploration – more than 900 km2 of it to supply the Australian market only.
Queensland Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham has invited companies to bid for the right to explore for gas south-west of Chinchilla in the Bowen and Surat basins.
“A secure domestic gas supply is on everyone’s lips right now, and Queensland continues to do the heavy lifting, releasing more land for exploration and putting the right policy levers in place to encourage investment,” Dr Lynham said.
“The provisions the Government has placed on 917 km2 of this land will help with gas security for Australian manufacturers and fuel Australian jobs.
“As well as maintaining gas security in our own back yard, the remaining land for exploration will strengthen Queensland’s ability to deliver on lucrative, long term export contracts worth $11.4 billion to the local economy this year alone.”
Dr Lynham said the Bowen and Surat basins were key gas-producing regions already supported by extensive pipeline and transport infrastructure.
“Put simply – the land we are opening up today is perfectly placed for companies wanting to hit the ground running,” he said.
This is the fourth release of land for gas for the Australian market, a first for Australia when Dr Lynham announced the first 58 km2 release in February 2017.
Since then, almost another 18 000 km2 has been released for gas exploration, more than a third of it of it for the domestic market only.
Armour Energy is looking for gas on 318 km2 of the Roma Shelf north of Miles and Surat and Central Petroleum has locked in a deal to supply gas from its site near Miles to one of Queensland’s largest manufacturers, Incitec Pivot.
Senex has announced go-ahead for its Project Atlas in the Surat Basin on the first land the Queensland Government awarded for domestic-only gas production in March 2018.
Statewide the oil and gas industry continues to directly employ some 8000 people and will contribute an expected $447 million in royalties in 2018‑19. The Surat and southern Bowen basins account for more than three quarters of the industry.