Senex has been granted a petroleum lease and preliminary environmental approvals to develop its Project Atlas coal seam gas asset, south-east of Wandoan, for domestic gas supply.
It comes after the company won a pilot tender last year under a Queensland Government drive to boost gas production for the Australian market.
Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the grant of Senex’s petroleum lease in the Surat Basin meant the company would be supplying Australia’s east coast gas market within two years.
“Construction work can now begin on the wells and pipelines needed to pump up to 26 Petajoules per year of additional gas into the domestic market,” he said.
“This means domestic gas and regional investment and up to 150 regional jobs.”
Senex managing director and chief executive officer Ian Davies said the company was in detailed discussions with parties to provide gas processing infrastructure and had materially progressed financing discussions with prospective lenders.
Delivery of first gas to the domestic market is targeted for late 2019.
“The direct award of this Petroleum Lease is an innovative solution by the Queensland Government to help address the shortage of east coast gas and the quick turnaround of our application shows its continued commitment,” he said.
The Senex lease is the first to come to fruition of the Government’s gas land releases for the domestic purposes.
Since Senex won its tender, two other Australian producers – Central Petroleum and Armour Energy – have won a further tender to explore for gas exclusively for the Australian market north of Miles and Surat.