White Paper recognises potential of gas in nation's north

An LNG tanker at the INPEX-operated Ichthys LNG Project.

An LNG tanker at the INPEX-operated Ichthys LNG Project.

The release of the Federal Government’s White Paper on developing Northern Australia: Our North, Our Future, has highlighted the role of gas in unlocking the potential and opportunities of the north.

As part of its plans to improve infrastructure in the north, the Government is providing a new $A5 billion Northern Australian Infrastructure Facility to provide concessional loans for the construction of major infrastructure such as pipelines, ports, roads, rail, and electricity and water supply.

The White Paper also mentions that, with regard to gas, both onshore and offshore areas across northern Australia are largely under explored, with good potential for further discoveries, while technological advancements, such as floating LNG, and increased geographical knowledge are making known resources more viable.

Northern Territory to East Coast Interconnect Gas Pipeline

The proposed Northern Territory to East Coast Interconnect Gas Pipeline is also listed as a unique opportunity to connect with Australia’s eastern natural gas market and test the market’s appetite to grow the industry.

“Such a link has the potential to contribute to a more efficient gas market through infrastructure that links markets, builds resilience and enables new gas resources to be developed,” the White Paper says.

“Australia’s eastern natural gas market has undergone substantial development over the past 20 years, transitioning from an isolated and self-sufficient market to one linked to high value international gas markets.

“While some of this reform has been mirrored in the unconnected northern and western gas markets, more work is required in this area.”

The paper points to the need to link Australia’s domestic gas markets in order to facilitate reform across the sector, if commercial realities support the development required to achieve this aim.

Click here to view the Federal Government’s White Paper on developing Northern Australia: Our North, Our Future.

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