$10B resources project moving forward despite virus challenges
THE devastation of mass job losses during the COVID-19 pandemic could be turned around in the southwest, as one major resources company moves forward with a huge $10 billion project in the Surat Basin.
Arrow Energy announced today that it will be proceeding into the first stage of its Surat Gas Project, which includes the construction of over 600 gas wells between Wandoan and Dalby.
The project itself is among the biggest Queensland has seen in recent years, and is expected to create 1000 jobs over its lifetime, including an initial 200 in construction.
The move has been applauded by Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, who said it is ‘just what the state needs’.
“We are dealing with this twin crises of what is happening in health, and also what is happening with the economy … we know how important jobs are to people, and I understand there are a lot of people out there who are hurting at the moment, so today brings excellent news.
“I want to thank Arrow Energy, this is just what Queensland needs during this time.
“This $10 billion injection in to the Queensland economy is the shot in the arm that we all need.”
Construction on the Surat Gas project is set to begin in August-September this year, and be delivering its first gas to the market in 2021.
While it will require an initial 200 jobs, Arrow Energy CEO Cecile Wake said many more will be needed as the project progresses.
For now, it will provide some confidence to the industry and economy, but Ms Wake also pointed out that the COVID-19 pandemic means the company will be treading carefully.
“An initial 200 construction jobs will be created during phase one, with an anticipated further 800 construction and operating roles over the life of the Surat Gas Project,” she said.
“Arrow recognises the current uncertainty caused by COVID-19 and oil-price volatility and will ensure that its development plans retain sufficient flexibility to manage these evolving challenges while bringing more gas to market.
“The decision to sanction phase one of the Surat Gas Project and commence construction this year is good for Queensland.
“It will mean more jobs, more opportunities for local companies and other economic benefits for regional Queensland.”
The impending gas industry jobs boom has been welcomed by the Queensland Resources Council, which has lauded the mass loss of local jobs due to coronavirus as devastating for Queensland.
QRC CEO Ian Macfarlane said despite the pandemic, the resources industry as a whole is well-placed to offer jobs while maintaining virus safety measures.
“The loss of jobs across Queensland in the COVID-19 response has been devastating,” he said.
“The resources sector has been at the forefront of slowing the spread of COVID-19; our coal, metals and petroleum companies have been continuing to operate, invest, employ and export on behalf of all Queenslanders.
“The majority of companies are either maintaining their employment levels or anticipating a slight increase.
“Indeed, there are currently about 800 jobs in the Queensland resources, mining and energy sector advertised online with SEEK … the Arrow announcement is a long-term commitment and it could not have come at a better time for Queensland.”