The Palaszczuk Government has given the green light to a new Surat and Bowen Basin project that will see more gas made available for the domestic market.
Resources Minister Scott Stewart said Santos has been granted an Authority to Prospect over a 764 square kilometre parcel of land located 65km east of Surat in the gas rich Bowen and Surat Basins.
“We are serious about finding gas to keep power stations generating, stoves burning and workers working and have imposed strict conditions that any gas produced from this venture heads straight to the Australian market,” Mr Stewart said.
“The granting of this ATP means Santos has fulfilled all necessary land access agreements, environmental and Native Title requirements and can soon get down to work exploring for gas as part of Queensland’s $70 billion onshore gas industry.
“This is yet another example of Queensland doing the heavy lifting on gas and is further proof of the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to securing Australia’s energy future.”
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Santos managing director and chief executive officer Kevin Gallagher said the company would invest nearly $15 million into the state and local economies.
“Right through the global pandemic, Santos, a proudly Australian company, maintained its drilling program and 2021 will be the same, with around A$800 million being invested right here in Queensland to drill another 180 wells and deliver more gas supply,” Mr Gallagher said.
“This will support the jobs of the nearly 1200 Queensland workers in our operations and provide more opportunities for small and family businesses in regional Queensland.
“Importantly, Queensland and east coast customers pay less for gas than Asian customers and they will continue to enjoy a competitive gas price advantage as we bring more low-cost supply to market from this new ATP and our other Queensland developments.
“Despite the volatile global environment, Santos and our GLNG partners drilled around 700 wells and invested A$2 billion in gas field developments in Queensland over the last two years.
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“This is a huge demonstration of Santos’ commitment to Queensland jobs, Queensland businesses and our regions. The gas we produce is supporting Queensland customers across the state as well as exports from the LNG industry out of Gladstone.”
Mr Stewart said Queensland continued to lead the way for the rest of the nation toward a renewable energy future.
“Queensland is the only state securing Australia’s east coast gas supply with nation-leading gas policy and land releases,” he said.
“Since 2015 this Government has released more than 80,000 km2 of land for gas exploration with almost a quarter of it guaranteed for the Australian domestic market.
“Our gas supply policy is working for industry, it is keeping gas pumping and it is keeping jobs flowing.”