Shell Australia says its QGC joint venture is continuing its investment in Queensland through plans to drill up to 161 additional wells over two years in ‘Project Ruby’.
The company said the project expanded on QGC’s operations in the Surat Basin and would underpin 350 new and existing jobs in regional Queensland during the 16-month construction, as well as sustaining QGC’s gas production as older wells declined.
Shell chairman Andrew Smith said this latest project was the company’s way of continuing to supply gas into the east coast market whilst protecting valuable export jobs in regional Australia.
“This is the next significant milestone for the QGC project and a further vote of confidence in Queensland’s onshore gas industry,” he said.
“We are proud to be investing in regional Queensland, where state and local government have had the vision to establish the rules for a gas industry that creates jobs and supports farmers by providing water, building new roads and paying taxes.”
The new wells will be drilled in 2017 and 2018 in QGC’s existing tenements in south-west Queensland.
The company said new jobs associated with the project would be advertised in the Surat Basin.
Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane said the announcement was yet another sign that Queensland was getting on with business.
“The ‘Project Ruby’ development in the Surat Basin underpins 350 new and existing jobs, which is good news for the local community, and good news for Queensland’s gas supply,” Mr Macfarlane said.
“The QRC is pleased that Queensland is leading the way when it comes to working to address the problem of the east coast gas shortage.”
He said QRC data showed that in 2015-16, the state’s gas industry contributed $12.8 billion in economic contribution and supported 65,000 jobs.
Shell’s QGC business is a net contributor to the domestic gas market and will sell more than 75 petajoules (PJs) net of domestic gas purchases, to customers in Australia this year. This represents more than 10 per cent of east coast gas demand and 40 per cent of Queensland’s demand.