Coal seam gas wellheadPhoto Jim Campbell / Chinchilla News
Coal seam gas wellheadPhoto Jim Campbell / Chinchilla News

Five new areas in Surat Basin submitted for gas exploration

GAS exploration across the Surat and Bowen Basins is anticipated to expand again.

The Queensland Exploration Council (QEC) has welcomed the Queensland Government Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy’s latest tender release of five areas for gas exploration, across almost 1500 square kilometres in southwest Queensland.

Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said five parcels were to be released for tender on 18 June 2020 around Moonie and Injune in the resource-rich Surat and Bowen Basins.

“It’s essential that we keep exploration underway to identify the resources projects and jobs of the future as we emerge from COVID-19,” Dr Lynham said.

“Gas explorers have already expressed interest on these parcels of land previously, so it makes sense to open them for tender.

“Queensland has a plan for our economy to Unite and Recover for Queensland Jobs.

“Part of that plan is building on our traditional strengths like the resources industry and maintaining a pipeline of projects is essential.”

Next week’s release comes just weeks before exploration tenders close for 12 areas across more than 6700 square kilometres of other land in the south and central west.

The 12 areas, open to tender until 9 July, liebetween Blackwater and Goondiwindi. They include 872 km2 that can only supply gas to the Australian market.

“Gas is critical to our manufacturers as a feedstock as well as an energy source to fuel jobs,” Dr Lynham said.

“Already we have Senex Energy producing critical gas for industry and energy, and Australian Pacific LNG and Armour Energy’s joint venture project near Chinchilla will supply gas next year to manufacturing plants across Queensland.

The land for release next week is in central and southern Queensland across five areas:

- 834 km2 50 km west of Moonie

- 357 km2 25 km north-east of Moonie

- 77 km 2 17 km east of Injune

- 37km2 29 km south-east of Injune and

- 154 km2 32 km south-east of Injune.

The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show mineral and petroleum exploration investment for the year to the end of March was up more than 15 per cent on the previous year in Queensland.

QEC Chair Kim Wainwright said the explorer member organisation was pleased to see the government had listened to industry feedback.

“The gas exploration community has been heard, and the department is now meeting more explorer’s needs by releasing additional land on top of what was already made available through this year’s exploration program,” Ms Wainwright said.

“All five areas were previously released for tender under the 2018 Queensland Exploration Program but were not awarded. So it’s great they’re back on offer for explorers.”

Ms Wainwright said the exploration would not be possible without concrete support, and in turn would bring economic success to the surrounding regions.

“It’s essential our explorers are provided the support to continue exploring and given opportunity to make new discoveries, which not only contribute to our economy but are essential for all Queenslanders who rely on our state’s plentiful natural resources,” Ms Wainwright said.

The tender process, PLR2020-2, will open on 18 June and close on September 3 2020.

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