Santos wins rights to more gas exploration

Santos has gained rights to explore for more gas near Injune in Queensland’s south-west.

Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said Santos and its joint venture partners TOTAL, Petronas, KOGAS and APLNG had been awarded exploration rights to an 86sq km area in Queensland’s Bowen Basin.

“This area holds significant gas resources, which will further add to the gas being produced by workers here in Queensland and made available for domestic use and export markets,” Dr Lynham said.

Santos executive vice president of exploration and new developments Bill Ovenden said the tender was ideally located.

“Being adjacent to the Santos-planned Arcadia project means the company will be able to leverage existing infrastructure, reduce development costs and produce more gas,” Mr Ovenden said.

Santos is on track to supply about 11 per cent of the ACCC’s expected east coast gas demand in 2018.

“Access to new and existing supply sources in Queensland as well as new supply sources in New South Wales and the Northern Territory is critically important to enable us to continue to deliver competitive gas to the east coast domestic gas market,” Mr Ovenden said.

“Santos appreciates the support of the Queensland government for the gas industry which is making Queensland communities stronger through jobs, small business opportunities, investment and economic growth.”

Santos will need to negotiate land access agreements and fulfill any existing environmental and Native Title requirements before the exploration authority is granted and work can begin.

“We are continuing to drive gas exploration and production through the release of land under our Annual Exploration Program which provides planning certainty for explorers and early notice for landholders and local communities,” Dr Lynham said.

“Tenders are currently open for gas companies to explore for gas in 10 areas in the Bowen, Surat, Adavale and Eromanga basins.

“That includes more than 6000sq km for gas that can only be sold in Australia, and not exported.”

APPEA Queensland director Rhys Turner said the announcement was the latest in a string of new Queensland projects aimed at bringing more gas to market.

“In the past year we have seen significant announcements from Arrow Energy, Shell Australia, and Senex to bring on new supply,” Mr Turner said.

“At the end of February, Santos announced that it would spend close to a billion dollars on its Roma East project, while APLNG is expected to spend $3 billion on activities this calendar year.

“The Queensland Government recognises the only way to put downward pressure on prices is to increase supply.”