$50 million worth of grants will be made available through the Beetaloo Cooperative Drilling Program to support further exploration of the Northern Territory’s Beetaloo Basin.
Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia, Keith Pitt, said, “The program is expected to deliver approximately ten additional exploration wells in the Beetaloo by 2022, and bring forward at least $150 million of private investment from companies.
“This Commonwealth grants program will support gas operators to speed up exploration and development of the Beetaloo Basin.
“These grants are a key component of our government’s agenda to bring gas from this world class resource into the market by at least 2025.
“The Beetaloo Cooperative Drilling Program is part of the Beetaloo Strategic Basin Plan and the Government’s $224 million commitment to the Beetaloo.”
Senator for the Northern Territory, Dr Sam McMahon, said it will be a major local economic driver.
“The Plan is expected to generate significant development in the Top End, creating up to 6,000 jobs over the next 20 years and helping Australia remain a world leader in gas,” Dr McMahon said.
“This investment by the Morrison-McCormack Government will provide new opportunities for thousands of Territorians and ensure the NT can emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic in a strong position.”
The Beetaloo Cooperative Drilling Program will provide grants of between $750,000 and $7.5 million, up to a total of $50 million, to gas companies to support exploration that occurs before 30 December 2022.
APPEA Chief Executive, Andrew McConville, said the grants would particularly help smaller exploration companies to continue playing a critical role in the identification and development of new energy resources.
“The government’s new grants program will support natural gas exploration and development in the Beetaloo Basin, which has world class reserves,” Mr McConville said.
“Successful exploration is essential to bringing more gas supply to the domestic market and can deliver revenue for governments, jobs for workers and long-term energy security for Australia.”
Mr McConville said there is a tremendous opportunity to continue to turn the Northern Territory’s existing and prospective natural resources – including in the Beetaloo Basin – into long-term wealth and increase economic growth.
“The Northern Territory’s Beetaloo Basin has world-class resources, and responsibly developing these resources will provide stable, secure and affordable energy for Australia for decades to come,” Mr McConville said.
For more information on the plan, visit the Unlocking the Beetaloo: The Beetaloo Strategic Basin Plan report on the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources website.