PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Natural gas developer Comet Ridge has been granted an authority to prospect (ATP) over a 338 km2 parcel of land located in the gas-rich Bowen basin, with the aim of bringing more gas to the Queensland market.
“In the last 12 months the government has approved 10 new Authority to Prospect – half of which, or some 1 447 km2 of new land – have a domestic gas condition which requires any gas that’s found to stay in Australia,” Resources Minister Scott Stewart said.
“The new ATP allows Comet Ridge to begin exploration for new sources of gas while using their existing gas infrastructure in the region to plug straight in and get gas to market faster.
“The new Mahalo Far East project will invest about A$5.5-million over six years into the state and local economies.
“Supporting exploration in Queensland and maintaining a pipeline of resources projects means more gas for local industry and more jobs. The resources industry has been essential during the Covid-19 global pandemic and will help continue Queensland’s economic recovery,” the Minister said.
The award of Mahalo Far East follows the award of Mahalo North in April 2020 and Mahalo East in September 2020, giving Comet Ridge a combined area of some 885 km2.
Comet Ridge MD Tor McCaul said the Mahalo Far East block contains a very large gas in place volume and is an important upside addition to the Mahalo Hub area.
“Combining these blocks and sharing one large development for the whole Mahalo Hub area will provide greater efficiency and scale economy, as well as a material injection of gas into the east coast market, at a critical time,” McCaul said.
“Importantly, a proportion of this Mahalo Hub gas is earmarked for the domestic market.”
The block also contains conventional gas potential underneath the coals, which Comet Ridge will also hold at 100% equity. During appraisal of coal seam gas resources, activities will be designed to assess the potential in these deeper gas targets.