PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The Queensland government has issued infrastructure provider Jemena a licence to start construction of a domestic-only gas processing plant.
The plant is part of Jemena’s A$140-million Atlas gas pipeline project, which will create 150 jobs and connect Project Atlas to the Wallumbilla Gas Hub in south-west Queensland.
Gas from ASX-listed Senex Energy’s Project Atlas wells will be compressed at Jemena’s 40 TJ/d processing plant and will be transported in Jemena’s pipeline to Wallumbilla, and onward only to Australian customers.
Jemena also has a 622-km pipeline bringing an additional 90 TJ/d into Australia’s east coast gas network via Mount Isa.
“From Senex’s production field to Jemena’s processing and transportation to customers, this gas will stay in Australia to power local jobs,” Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said.
“Queensland continues to do the heavy lifting on gas supply and this will have benefits for Australian businesses and contribute to future energy security. Gas is expected to be flowing to Australian businesses by the end of this year.
“While other states close their doors, Queensland continues to rise to the challenge of bringing energy and feedstock to our manufacturers to maintain jobs.”
Senex MD and CEO Ian Davies said the decision was great news for Project Atlas and for gas customers in eastern Australia.
“Senex strongly supports the Queensland government’s far-sighted policy to introduce more natural gas into the domestic market,” Davies said.
“This approval brings that outcome closer, keeping us on schedule to deliver gas from Project Atlas by the end of 2019. The decision also keeps us on track to create further jobs in construction and operations as well as business opportunities in the Western Downs.”
Senex’s project is on 58 km2 of land the Queensland government granted for domestic-only gas production in March 2018.
Almost 25 000 km2 has been released in Queensland for gas exploration since early 2017, almost one-third of it for the domestic market only.
“Queensland gas is in demand around the world,” Lynham said.
“Our challenge has been to pull the right policy leavers to ensure we maintain the export commitments that see billions of dollars flow into the state’s economy every year, while also opening new land for gas for domestic use.
“And we are also diversifying our energy mix, with approval given late last year to New Zealand company Cypress, which will see exploration for oil kick off in Moonie Fields located within the Surat basin.”