Qld seeks to attract new exploration in Cooper, Eromanga and Surat basins

14th May 2015 By: Esmarie Iannucci - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Australasia

Qld seeks to attract new exploration in Cooper, Eromanga and Surat basins

Photo by: Bloomberg

PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The Queensland government on Thursday released 11 000 km2 of potentially petroleum- and gas-rich exploration area in the state’s far south-western corner.

Minister for State Development, Natural Resources and Mines Dr Anthony Lynham said that most of the land being made available was in the Cooper and Eromanga basins, with one small area of highly-prospective land in the Surat basin.

“The Cooper and Eromanga basins contain vast petroleum and gas resources and are considered among Australia’s most prospective and commercially-viable regions for deep gas and oil development.

“Into the bargain, Queensland offers potential investors access to A$70-billion worth of infrastructure in pipelines, processing facilities and liquefaction plants.”

Lynham said the Department of Natural Resources was targeting potential explorers and investors in Europe, North America and Asia through international industry media and events.

Successful tenderers would be granted a petroleum and gas exploration permit for a six-year term after meeting environmental, land access and any native title requirements.

The Cooper and Eromanga basins competitive tender would not include a cash component and applicants would be assessed according to their proposed exploration work programmes.

The Surat basin competitive tender for the parcel of land near Condamine; however, would include a cash component because it was considered highly prospective and close to existing coal seam gas production leases.

“This is the first of a four-year land release plan for the Cooper and Eromanga basins and is designed to attract junior and major explorers,” he added.

“New discoveries of gas resources will support future domestic gas supplies for Queensland, as well as our world-leading liquefied natural gas industry.”

The Minister added that further exploration and development represented a new and significant opportunity for regional development and jobs; including in the Barcoo, Diamantina, Bulloo and Quilpie shires.

“Exploration is vital to ensure we have a strong resources sector that will continue to make a significant contribution to Queensland’s future economic prosperity.”

The Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (Appea) said on Thursday that the state government’s decision sent a strong message to local and global explorers wanting to invest in the Queensland resources industry.

“An important signal has been sent to explorers, particularly many local small explorers, with the know-how and expertise to find new energy. Queensland is open for business backed by science and the highest of professional standards.  

“This also recognises Queensland’s place as a major global energy supplier at home and abroad, highlighting what can be achieved through a strong regulatory framework and government leadership,” said Appea acting CEO Paul Fennelly.

“Bringing more gas to market also removes the need for unworkable intervention policies, such as domestic gas reservation, that can only create adverse economic outcomes in the longer term.”