Four gas companies have won tenders to start exploring more than 6000 square kilometres in the Surat, Bowen, Eromanga and Adavale basins.

Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Minister, Dr Anthony Lynham, said the latest blocks were in key gas-producing regions in the Surat and Bowen basins, as well as an area with significant potential in the Eromanga and Adavale basins. The four companies have won tenders as part of Queensland’s annual exploration program.

“Ultimately, these land releases will deliver more petajoules into pipes, bringing more gas to the east coast and more gas for export,” Dr Lynham said.

One company will be looking for gas only for the Australian market. Chi Oil and Gas will explore 5266 square kilometres of land near Quilpie in the Eromanga and Adavale basins.

They join a growing team seeking or producing Queensland gas for the east coast market. Senex is progressing its Project Atlas in the Surat Basin, and Central Petroleum, along with Armour Energy, have authorities to prospect to explore almost 400 square kilometres for the Australian market.

The other three successful tenderers will be able to supply any gas they find to either the Australian or export market.

Armour Energy will explore two areas south of Surat over the Surat and Bowen basins: a 12 square kilometre area 28km south east of town, and a 30 square kilometre area 35km south of town.

Cypress Petroleum will explore two areas near Tara over the Surat and Bowen basins: a 487 square kilometre area 30km west of town, and a 559 square kilometre area 38km south west of town.

Bridgeport Energy will explore a 298 square kilometre area 18km west of Tara, spanning the Surat and Bowen basins.

The companies will need to negotiate land access agreements, fulfil environmental and native title requirements and be granted exploration authorities before exploration can begin.

APPEA Chief Executive, Dr Malcolm Roberts, said it is striking that on the day Queensland opens new opportunities to explore for gas, the New South Wales government is congratulating itself that it has closed 93 per cent of the state to exploration.

“New South Wales and Victoria are crying out for cheaper gas while they are locking up local resources. This approach is needlessly pushing up prices for customers,” Dr Roberts said.

“The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) estimates that transport costs can add up to 25 per cent to gas prices.

“The Queensland Government should be congratulated for recognising that the only way to put downward pressure on prices is to increase supply.

“APPEA congratulates the four companies  – Armour, Bridgeport Energy, Cypress Petroleum and Chi Oil and Gas – for securing the opportunities to explore for new gas reserves in Queensland.”

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