Explorer and developer Senex has teamed up with Jemena to bring gas from its Project Atlas resource to market with the construction of a new pipeline.

Senex was awarded the Atlas acreage, in south-east Queensland’s Surat Basin, by the Queensland Government in September 2017 following a competitive tender.

Atlas is a high-quality resource, and Senex is developing the 58 square kilometre block for the Australian domestic gas market.

In June 2018, Senex and Jemena signed an agreement that will see Jemena build, own and operate the Atlas Gas Processing Plant and Pipeline (AGPP), connecting the Atlas gas field with Jemena’s Darling Downs Pipeline and the Wallumbilla Gas Hub – the largest gas hub in the country.

After a competitive tender process, Jemena was selected as Senex’s preferred partner because it proposed the most cost-effective and direct pathway to the domestic gas market.

Jemena’s solution also leverages the Darling Downs Pipeline, which provides direct access to the Wallumbilla Gas Hub and offers Senex flexibility to sell its gas to a broad range of Australian gas customers.

Jemena will invest around $140 million to build the gas plant and 60km pipeline, which will be capable of transporting approximately 40TJ of gas per day.

Around 200 jobs will be created during the planning, construction and commissioning phases of the AGPP, which will bring new gas to the domestic market by late 2019.

Senex Energy Managing Director and CEO, Ian Davies, said the agreement brought Senex one crucial step closer to delivering gas to domestic customers.

“We are extremely pleased to be partnering with Jemena to fast-track Project Atlas to provide additional gas volumes into the domestic market.

“Last year we made a commitment to deliver gas to the domestic market by the end of 2019. We are systematically bringing together all the critical elements to do just that,” Mr Davies said.

The strategically located infrastructure will provide a long-term physical connection from a highly-productive area of the Surat Basin directly into the Wallumbilla Gas Hub.

The design of the processing facility also contemplates future expansion for Senex or other third parties in the area to connect and supply into the domestic market.

“This investment will not only create new jobs and support the local economy in the Western Downs region, but will result in generating royalties and benefits beyond the region and the state,” Mr Davies said.

Jemena’s current Managing Director, Paul Adams, who announced he will be stepping down from the role in October 2018, said the AGPP will provide additional volumes into the domestic market for a range of commercial and industrial gas users.

“The Atlas gas field is the first of 13 gas exploration tenements awarded by the Queensland Government as part of a broader move to fast-track the development of new gas to the domestic market.

“Jemena will construct the AGPP on an expedited schedule in order to deliver first gas by the end of 2019,” said Mr Adams.

Northern pipeline strategy

This latest pipeline represents another piece in Jemena’s northern growth strategy, which is centred on developing an interconnected supply chain of gas infrastructure assets across northern Australia.

“We know there is continued demand for gas across the east coast and that northern Australia will play a leading role in meeting this demand by bringing new gas to where it is most needed, via the most direct and economic route,” said Mr Adams.

“The AGPP is another crucial addition to our plans in northern Australia and allows us to play a leading role in bringing a new source of gas supply and greater competition to the market.

“We are also continuing work on our Northern Gas Pipeline (NGP), which will initially bring around 90TJs of gas to the east coast, and are now progressing plans to expand and extend the NGP so that it can transport around 700TJ of gas – that is enough gas to meet the average daily gas needs of Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide combined.”

Mr Adams said the NGP continues to track to schedule with first gas set to flow before the end of the year. 

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