JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Domestic gas supply and regional jobs in Queensland are set to gain considerably with Santos GLNG investing $900-million in upstream gas developments in Maranoa, Western Downs, Central Highlands and Banana this year.
As well as upstream developments around the Fairview, Scotia and Arcadia fields, this investment includes the first year of funding for the new $750-million Roma East project, which will be developed over the next three years.
The Roma East project will involve bringing on line another 480 wells, including drilling about 430 new wells, connecting existing appraisal wells, and drilling pre-development wells in the surrounding areas.
“More gas being produced is good news for all gas customers, both domestic and export. Queenslanders increasingly understand that coal seam gas is an evergreen industry with billions more dollars invested in new fields to supply the liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants,” said Queensland Resources Council (QRC) CEO Ian Macfarlane on Tuesday.
Santos executive VP onshore upstream Brett Woods joined Queensland Natural Resources and Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham to launch the Roma East project, following the drilling of the first new wells this month.
The first year of funding for the project would create up to 400 construction jobs and add nearly 50 PJ/y of supply in 2020, along with significant flow-on benefits to local small and medium-sized businesses.
This, Woods pointed out, was about 8% of expected east coast domestic gas demand this year.
Lynham commented that Santos’ investment in the Roma East field would mean jobs, business opportunities, and royalties for Queenslanders as well as more gas supply for the Australian market and for LNG exports.
The project will also include about 420 km of water, gas gathering and other pipelines, 120 TJ/d of additional compression, 670 km of power lines and around 25 km of fibre-optic cables. A new water-handling facility for irrigation and over 200 ha of additional irrigation in the Roma area will improve livestock carrying capacity for some local landholders.
Santos and our GLNG partners have already invested almost $20-billion in regional Queensland since 2011 and this new investment is considered a vote of confidence in the state.
QRC’s data shows that in 2016/17, Queensland’s gas industry contributed $8.9-billion to the state’s economy and supported almost 43 000 full-time Queensland jobs.