Brisbane-based Senex Energy has been awarded acreage for gas exploration by the Queensland Government as part of a pilot tender which has strict Australia-only sale conditions, the state government said Tuesday.
The Petroleum Lease is for land in the Surat Basin and uses new legislation aimed at addressing the region’s gas supply concerns.
Queensland minister for natural resources and mines, Anthony Lynham, said the pilot initiative, which was announced in January, was being used to test market interest.
“Securing this Petroleum Lease will open up access to 58 square kilometres of land near Miles. The area where Senex plans to operate is considered highly prospective as it sits within a region where a high volume of gas production is already underway,” he said.
“Importantly this land is adjacent to existing gas infrastructure which will help to fast-track production from wellhead to market,” he said.
The Australia-only sale conditions come in response to concerns that Australia, while on track to be the world’s largest exporter of LNG by 2019, could face gas shortages at home on its east coast by the end of the decade. The federal government is currently assessing whether it will use new powers next year to curb LNG exports from Queensland.
Senex is targeting first gas for 2019 and said the acreage is capable of sustaining production rates of more than 30 terajoules/d at plateau.
“Senex applauds the proactive steps taken by the Queensland Government to increase the supply of gas for Australia’s east coast,” it said.
It’s expecting to obtain regulatory approvals over the acreage in mid-2018.
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