The QLD state government will introduce a gas action plan that will fire up growth and jobs in the gas industry from the wellhead through to gas-fired manufacturing and export LNG.

QLD Minister for State Development and Natural Resources and Mines, Dr Anthony Lynham, has announced development of the Queensland Gas Supply and Demand Action Plan, to be completed early next year.

Terms of reference have been released to government and industry leaders ahead of consultation on an issues paper due out later this year.

“This action plan will be an overarching strategy to maximise exploration, drive development, keep gas costs down and get maximum economic and job benefit for Queensland,” Dr Lynham said.

“The eastern Australian gas market is undergoing a period of rapid growth and structural transformation following the commencement of gas exports to the Asia-Pacific market.

“The Palaszczuk Government needs to take the lead on the gas-related issues that will affect our households, our businesses, our industries and our jobs growth.

“Our Gas Action Plan will aim to stimulate increased gas supply, optimise the economic recovery of gas resources, and leverage and build on the Commonwealth Government’s various gas and energy initiatives,” said Dr Lynham.

Queensland’s petroleum and gas industry supported almost 145 000 jobs directly and indirectly last year and has production worth $1.9 billion. The industry is forecast to generate $411 million in royalties for Queensland in 2015-’16.

Dr Lynham said a key part of the plan would be looking at future opportunities.

“Global demand for Queensland gas – led by Asia – is increasing. By 2018, Queensland is expected to be the fourth largest LNG exporter globally and by the end of the decade Australia has the potential to be the world’s leading LNG exporter,” he said.

“On the domestic front, natural gas demand on the Australian east coast is forecast to grow at a staggering 16.5 per cent each year.

“The Action Plan will examine the full spectrum of gas demand, business and employment opportunities in Queensland beyond what’s already happening or in the pipeline with liquefied natural gas production at Gladstone,” he said.

The terms of reference will require the plan to focus on:

  • characterising the Queensland gas sector.
  • identifying barriers to achieving least cost supply.
  • ensuring that markets have transparent market mechanisms.
  • ensuring that Queensland capitalises on all possible demand opportunities both domestically and internationally.

An issues paper will be released for consultation later this year with the final plan expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2016.

APPEA Chief Operating Officer of Eastern Australia, Paul Fennelly, has responded to the announcement stating that the plan would be a winner for Queensland if it encouraged the ongoing growth of an industry that was already delivering major benefits for the State.

“With commitment and determination we can achieve the right policy settings to ensure the natural gas industry continues to power the Queensland economy for decades to come,” Mr Fennelly said.

“It is essential that the plan focus on policies that will substantially enhance the industry’s global competitiveness and encourage investment in new exploration and production.

“That means continuing to reject unworkable intervention policies, such as domestic gas reservation, that will deter investment and only create adverse economic outcomes in the longer term.”

Mr Fennelly said the investment of more than $70 billion worth of new gas infrastructure in Queensland since 2010 would help Australia become the world’s leading liquefied natural gas exporter by in the next few years.

“With domestic and global demand for gas forecast to increase, Queensland can attract further investment and growth in the industry if we get the policy settings right,” he said.

Read more about the action plan.

Michelle is a freelance journalist and editor who, as well as covering all the latest and breaking industry news, is a gun proofreader and editor who never misses a trick.

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