A FURTHER 6600 square kilometres of Southern Queensland with coal seam gas potential is to be opened up for exploration.
Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Minister Anthony Lynham said he had invited companies to bid for the right to explore for gas south-west of Chinchilla in the Bowen and Surat basins.
“The provisions the Government has placed on 917km2 of this land will help with gas security for Australian manufacturers and fuel Australian jobs,” Dr Lynham said.
“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.”
The land we are opening up is perfectly placed for companies wanting to hit the ground running.
Affected landholders are able to us the GasFields Commission’s GasApp, which provides an online guide to compensation entitlements for production wells.
GasFields Commission communications director Murray Cornish said while the GasApp is not suited to exploration work, it does walk stakeholders through a process of assessment and information gathering that they would need to successfully negotiate a compensation agreement with a gas production company.
“The GasApp is designed to demystify the process,” Mr Cornish said.
“It can’t take into account commercial negotiation skills or exceptional circumstances but it does give a robust baseline based on the information a user puts in.”
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 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 58km2 release in February 2017.
Since then, almost another 18,000km2 has been released for gas exploration, more than a third of it of it for the domestic market only.
Statewide the oil and gas industry continues to directly employ some 8000 people and will contribute an expected $447m in royalties in 2018‑19. The Surat and southern Bowen basins account for more than three quarters of the industry.
Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane said the new exploration land was a commitment of confidence in the gas industry and another sign Queensland was getting on with the job to help ease the east coast gas squeeze.
"Yet again Queensland is demonstrating its willingness to actively attract private sector investment to create more jobs, more exports, more royalties and more gas into the domestic market,” Mr Macfarlane said.
“More gas being produced is good news for all gas customers, both domestic and export. With a go-slow on gas development in NSW, and a blanket ban on some types of gas projects in Victoria, what the southern states are really saying is they’re not prepared to support local jobs and local industry."
Tenders close on February 28.