Queensland and Northern Territory gas developer Blue Energy says it is encouraged by the announcement that a future federal Labor government would commit $1.5 billion to fund new nation-building gas infrastructure in Queensland and the Northern Territory.
The company says the link would alleviate pressure from the gas-short southern market with the large, untapped gas resources in Queensland and the Northern Territory, but cautioned the expectation of immediately available gas was unrealistic, except for the Bowen Basin.
Environmental and regulatory approval processes for any new gas development, pipeline infrastructure and commissioning requirements for these prospective gas zones put Basins such as Galilee and Beetaloo years down the track before they actually delivered gas to the market.
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The quickest gas to market from these Basins, in order, is:
- North Bowen Basin – Producing basin with environmentally approved projects already (one to three years)
- Galilee Basin – Still at proof-of-concept stage for CSG and tight gas (five to eight years)
- Beetaloo Basin – Regulatory and social licence issues ongoing in the NT (five to 10 years)
Blue Energy is the only company with acreage in all three regions – the North Bowen, Galilee and the Beetaloo/Greater McArthur Basins.
The gas resource in the North Bowen Basin is approximately 15,000 petajoules (PJ) – equal to 30 years of current domestic gas demand on the total Australian east coast market.
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The Northern Bowen Basin gas resources are separately held by Arrow Energy (A Shell and Petrochina Joint Venture) and Australian-owned and ASX-listed Blue Energy Ltd, under permits granted by the Queensland State Government.
Arrow has State and Federal Government environmental approvals in place for a gas development project of up to 6625 wells, plus a granted licence to build a gas pipeline from Moranbah to Gladstone to transport the gas to market. These projects have yet to be started by Arrow.