In a national first, an APLNG-Armour Energy joint venture will seek out gas, entirely reserved for Australian manufacturers, in Queensland’s highly prospective southwest.

Queensland Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy, Dr Anthony Lynham, announced the joint venture’s successful bid for 18km2 of land 22km southwest of Chinchilla.

Under the permit’s conditions, gas can only be sold to Australian manufacturing businesses.

“This is about more petajoules of Queensland gas in pipes, fuelling jobs in manufacturing,” Dr Lynham said.

The 18km2 block is highly prospective, as exploration levels in the area are high and it is surrounded by production leases. First gas is expected mid-2020.

Australia Pacific LNG CEO, Warwick King, and Armour Energy chief executive officer, Roger Cressey, welcomed the announcement.

“The proximity of the block to our existing infrastructure will allow us to bring the gas to the east coast market efficiently and on competitive terms,” Mr King said.

“This is a great opportunity for Armour,” Mr Cressey said.

“As an Australian company headquartered in Brisbane, Armour is pleased that the award of this block to the joint venture will contribute to the provision of more affordable energy and feedstock to Australian manufacturing businesses.”

Armour is already producing up to 3.6 petajoules of gas per annum, and exploring for gas for across its 2090km2 of exploration acreage on the gas-rich Roma Shelf near its Kincora project.

It was one of four companies awarded exploration tenders to look for domestic-market-only gas in September 2018.

The others are:

  • Chi Oil and Gas on 5266km2 near Quilpie
  • Santos/Shell joint venture on 393km2 near Surat
  • Central Petroleum on 77km2 near Miles

Since 2015, the government has released more than 39,000km2 of land for gas exploration, well over a fifth of it guaranteeing the gas will be for Australian buyers.

The recent announcement follows previous news that Senex Energy would seek gas for Australian-supply only on 153km2 of land near Miles.

Senex has already announced sales contracts with domestic manufacturers for gas from Project Atlas near Wandoan, the first project to develop from the Queensland Government’s domestic-only gas policy initiative.

Queensland also called for bids to explore a further 3700km2 of land mainly near Springsure in central Queensland. Well over a fifth of this land is only for domestic gas supply.    

Queensland already supplies around 25 per cent of the domestic east coast gas demand.

Eliza Booth

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