PERTH (miningweekly.com) – ASX-listed Senex energy has been awarded preferred tender status by the Queensland government for natural gas acreage in the Surat basin.
Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said on Tuesday that the 153 km2 of land area had been awarded to Senex to explore for Australian-only gas supply.
Senex told shareholders that the award of preferred tender status aligned with the company’s strategy to grow its position as an important supplier to the east coast gas market, and built on the existing 1 800 km2 of acreage in the Surat basin.
The acreage is the second block awarded to Senex, following Project Atlas in 2017, which was the first acreage awarded for domestic-only supply in Australia and is on track for first gas by the end of 2019.
Senex MD and CEO Ian Davies said that the award demonstrated the company’s commitment to the long-term development of natural gas resources in Queensland.
“We are committed to investing for the long-term to unlock the new resources in addition to development-ready opportunities such as Project Atlas. Senex welcomes the Queensland government’s policy of activity encouraging investment in the state’s resource sector to bring new supplies of gas to market.”
Lynham, meanwhile, pointed out that Santos/Shell joint venture, Galilee Energy and debutant Sajawin have also won the right to explore for gas across more than 2 600 km2 between Miles and the border town of Inglewood.
“Queensland’s been doing the heavy lifting on gas supply for several years now, and we’re keeping up the pace. We want to see more petajoules of Queensland gas in pipes, more jobs in Queensland, and our gas driving jobs in Australian manufacturing.
“While other states close their doors, Queensland continues to rise to the challenge to keep our manufacturers in business. In that vein, I also soon expect to be able to announce the outcome of a national first tender where that gas will be supplied exclusively to a manufacturer,” Lynham said.
“This will mean more Queensland gas fuelling more Australian manufacturing jobs. We’ll also be continuing our campaign for more federal investment in pipelines and other gas infrastructure to help get more gas to market to drive down prices.”
And a new round of bids has also been called to explore a further 3 700 km2 of land mainly near Springsure in central Queensland. More than a quarter of this land is only for domestic gas supply.
Since 2015 this government has released more than 39 000 km2 of land for gas exploration, nearly a quarter of it gas guaranteed for Australian buyers.