A clutch of gas companies which will soon start exploring another 6,600 square kilometres in Queensland for both domestic use and more export.
The latest blocks were in key gas-producing regions in the Surat and Bowen basins, said Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham.
There was also an area with significant potential in the Eromanga and Adavale basins, Dr Lynham said.
The four companies have won tenders as part of Queensland’s annual exploration program.
“This demonstrates once again that here in Queensland we continue to do the heavy lifting in shoring up Australia’s gas supply,” Dr Lynham said.
“We’re also fulfilling our election commitment to release land for gas exploration with the requirement that any gas produced will only be provided to our domestic market.
“Ultimately, these land releases will deliver more petajoules into pipes, bringing more gas to the east coast and more gas for export.”
One company will be looking for gas only for the Australian market. Chi Oil and Gas will explore 5266 square kilometres of land near Quilpie in the Eromanga and Adavale basins.
They join a growing team seeking or producing Queensland gas for the east coast market. Senex is progressing its Project Atlas in the Surat Basin, and Central Petroleum, along with Armour Energy, have authorities to prospect to explore almost 400 square kilometres for the Australian market.
The other three successful tenderers announced today will be able to supply any gas they find to either the Australian or export market.
Armour Energy will explore two areas south of Surat over the Surat and Bowen basins: 12 square kilometre area 28km south east of town and 30 square kilometre area 35km south of town.
Cypress Petroleum will explore two areas near Tara over the Surat and Bowen basins: a 487 square kilometre area 30km west of town and 559 square kilometre area 38km south-west of town.
Bridgeport Energy will explore a 298 square kilometre area 18km west of Tara spanning the Surat and Bowen basins.
The companies will need to negotiate land access agreements, fulfil environmental and native title requirements and be granted exploration authorities before exploration can begin.