Queensland Government goes forward on exploration

The Surat and Bowen Basin petroleum and gas exploration areas.

The Surat and Bowen Basin petroleum and gas exploration areas.

The oil and gas industry welcomes the release of Queensland’s first exploration forward plan.

Queensland’s first exploration forward plan released yesterday will deliver certainty and opportunity to the state’s resources sector and local communities in the state’s north-west, central and south-west.

Minister for State Development and Natural Resources and Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham released the first annual exploration program today, setting out the 826 square kilometres of land to be made available for minerals, coal, and petroleum and gas exploration over the next 12 months.

The seven areas range from Cloncurry in the north-west, though the Bowen Basin in central Queensland, to near Surat in the south-west.

The areas to be released are:

  • 102 sq km for minerals exploration in Queensland’s North West Minerals Province, to be released by September 2016
  • 451 sq km for petroleum and gas exploration near Surat and Injune between October and December 2016
  • 273 sq km for coal exploration between Middlemount and Blackwater in the Bowen Basin between April and June 2017.

“The forward plan announces the release of exciting prospective areas for natural gas exploration near Surat and Injune,” said Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) Chief Executive Dr Malcolm Roberts.

“Finding and developing gas reserves in this area will deliver significant benefits to local communities and Queensland as a whole.

“Past exploration successes have led to Queensland’s world-class LNG industry and ensured secure local supply of gas for Queensland households and industry.

“More than 13,000 people are directly employed in Queensland’s gas industry. Developing new gas reserves is essential to sustaining these jobs and, in time, creating more jobs.

“The Minister for Natural Resources and Mines, Dr Anthony Lynham, is to be congratulated for leading a more transparent approach to acreage releases.

“The forward plan follows extensive consultations with local communities, farmers, traditional owners and the industry.

“Early consultations help build community understanding and confidence. It is far better to engage people early and to hear their views before decisions are made.

“For its part, the gas industry relies on the support of local communities. It is important that local people are part of the process from the very beginning.

“APPEA welcomes the release of acreage for exploration and congratulates the Minister for delivering a more inclusive process.”

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