SA has enough gas for centuries: Koutsantonis

South Australian Minister for Mineral Resources and Energy Tom Koutsantonis.

South Australian Minister for Mineral Resources and Energy Tom Koutsantonis.

South Australian Minister for Finance, State Development, Mineral Resources and Energy Tom Koutsantonis has talked up the role of gas at a recent conference.

Speaking at the South Australian Resources and Energy Investment Conference in Adelaide yesterday, Mr Koutsantonis said South Australia (SA) has enough gas in the ground to power the grid for centuries.

“It is a question of measures to extract more of it, faster and competitively,” said Mr Koutsantonis.

Speaking about SA’s Plan for Accelerating Exploration (PACE) Gas program, Mr Koutsantonis said the first round on grants were already approved and the second round was open for applicants, with a $48 million allocated for the program.

“Gas extracted through the grant scheme will be offered to South Australian electricity generators first, increasing the affordability of supply and putting downward pressure on prices,” said Mr Koutsantonis.

“The first grant round of $24 million is expected to generate $174 million in new investment by oil and gas companies in local production projects.

“To encourage new explorers, the Government has also offered new gas acreage in the Otway Basin in the south east of the State, close to existing pipelines and infrastructure.

“This acreage will be eligible to for PACE Royalty Return, which allows landowners to share in the royalties from production under their properties.”

Mr Koutsantonis also took a swipe at the Federal Government, who has been critical of SA’s energy strategy in the wake of state-wide blackouts earlier this year.

“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery so of course I welcome the Federal Government decision in the latest budget to mirror the PACE Gas initiative to encourage east coast exploration.”

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