More than 30,000km2 of new land has been opened for gas exploration in Queensland in an effort to supply the domestic market and provide more affordable gas.

Energy Minister, Dr Anthony Lynham, said the 30,000km2 of new land for exploration was one of the State’s largest ever land releases and includes more than 30 percent earmarked for domestic supply.

“Business and industry – particularly our manufacturers – needs more affordable gas to fuel jobs and there’s one surefire way to do that – produce more gas,” Dr Lynham said.

Six successful ventures have won the right to explore a total of 3450km2 – two of them for gas for the domestic market only.

They are

  • Comet Ridge (external site) – 450 km2 – domestic supply only – south-east of Emerald
  • Denison Gas (external site) – 568 km2 for domestic supply only – south-east of Emerald
  • Galilee Energy (external site) – 1425km2 – south of Emerald
  • Westside (external site) and APLNG (external site) – 753 km2 – east of Taroom
  • Santos GLNG (external site) – two areas totalling 101 km2 east of Roma
  • Real Energy/Strata-X – 153 km2west of Miles

“These operators now have the opportunity to hunt for gas in proven gas rich Bowen and Surat basins,” Dr Lynham said.

The new 30,000 km2 land release will open for bids on November 7.

The land parcels are near Roma, Longreach and Mount Isa across six basins – Bowen, Surat, Galilee, Adavale, Eromanga and Millungera.

“This latest land release further opens up under-explored Adavale, Galilee and Millungera basins,” Dr Lynham said.

Since 2015 the Queensland Government has released more than 39,000km2 of land for gas exploration, over a fifth of it guaranteeing the gas will be for Australian consumers.

Two projects have signed gas deals with local buyers.

Senex’s Project Atlas has contracts with CSR supporting 200 jobs, with O-I glass and with Orora to supply three manufacturing plants in Queensland.

And the APLNG-Armour Energy gas joint venture had signed gas deals with Orica for supply to their Yarwun explosives plant and packaging manufacturer Orora.

Senex and its construction partner in Project Atlas, Jemena, is also building a $140m pipeline and processing facility project that will connect Project Atlas to the Wallumbilla Gas Hub in south-west Queensland.

The new successful tenderers will need to negotiate land access agreements and fulfil any existing environmental and Native Title requirements before the exploration authority is granted and work can begin

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