Shell expands natural gas projects in Queensland

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Image: Bruce Peebles

Up to 350 jobs plus contracts for local suppliers will flow on the Western Downs throughout the next two years from the latest Queensland natural gas expansion.

During 2019 and 2020, Shell will progressively drill 250 new gas wells as part of the QGC venture called ‘Project Goog-a-binge’ in the Western Downs region of Queensland.

Shell Australia chairman Zoe Yujnovich said Project Goog-a-binge is expected to create or maintain up to 350 jobs, the majority of which will be in regional Queensland.

Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham has welcomed the announcement of the project, which will add to Shell’s existing operations near Wandoan, Miles, Chinchilla and Tara.

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“Queensland is the nation’s energy powerhouse, and we continue to do the heavy lifting on gas production and policy,” he says.

“This latest expansion plan will help ensure sustained gas supply to domestic customers as well as royalties to fund frontline services across the state.

“Most importantly, it will pump millions of dollars into local household budgets, local stores and local businesses for the next 30 years.

Dr Lyndham encourages local businesses to register online with EconomX, where the project and its contractors will seek expressions of interest for work packages.

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“I understand QGC has already engaged three Chinchilla-based fabrication contractors for the project and just a couple of weeks ago I was in Toowoomba announcing that Easternwell had won a multi-million dollar, five-year contract with QGC,” he says.

“Ongoing investment in Queensland’s $70 billion gas industry shows the policy settings are right.

“We expect the gas industry to continue to deliver for the south-west, and the Palaszczuk Government will continue to drive increased gas supply with innovative policy, to meet the needs of households and Australian manufacturers.”

QGC will start pre-construction and site preparation activities at some sites next month, with wells to start being drilled from January 2019 through to December 2019, subject to government approvals.

Shell currently supplies around 60 per cent of Queensland’s domestic gas demand through both QGC and Arrow Energy.