The Northern Territory Government is encouraging community members to have their say on a new Oil and Gas Development Strategy to prepare for the industry’s future.
Chief Minister, Adam Giles, said the strategy would set government on the right track to regulate this developing industry.
“The Territory Government sees onshore gas exploration as providing significant economic benefits for Territorians, including potential employment, regional economic and infrastructure development, and for future royalties that will benefit all Territorians,” Mr Giles said.
“We want to engage with the oil and gas industry and the public both locally and nationally about the direction of the industry in the NT.
“The NT oil and gas industry has the potential to make a significant contribution to the Territory and Australian economies and will play an important role in providing energy security for our nation and strategic partners, particularly those in Asia.
“It is a priority for the NT Government to have information readily available to the public that is factual, based on science and relevant to the NT’s current onshore oil and gas activity,” Mr Giles said.
“The Government is strongly committed to ensuring the industry can be developed sustainably while still having appropriate protection of the environment and the Territory lifestyle.”
The Northern Territory Government will grant a limited number of exploration permits every year to assist with gathering further baseline data about our oil and gas resource. The Government will also strengthen current legislation to ensure best-practice regulation for a growing industry.
The release of the strategy follows the announcement that Jemena had been selected to construct and operate the North East Gas Interconnector (NEGI) pipeline to connect Northern Territory gas to eastern gas markets.
The NEGI will create more than 900 jobs during construction, 600 of which will be for locals and offer up to 100 contracts for local businesses worth about $112million.
There will also be ongoing maintenance and operations teams based in Tennant Creek and Mt Isa.
Mines and Energy Minister, David Tollner, said it was estimated the Territory had more than 200trillion cubic feet of gas – potentially enough to power Australia for more than 200 years.
“There are many potential benefits for Territorians from the development of an onshore oil and gas industry,” Mr Tollner said.
“These include providing energy security to stabilise costs to consumers, long term regional development and jobs, improved transport infrastructure to regional and remote areas, and the potential for value-added manufacturing industries.”
The Government intends to ask key decision makers in the exploration, production,pipeline and service and supply industries about the direction of the NT’s oil and gas industry.
It will also seek feedback from the community on its oil and gas industry development strategy to help establish a clear way forward for industry.
“There is a plan for oil and gas to play a big role in the medium and long term economic development of the Northern Territory, including on the service and supply side,” Mr Giles said.
“There is a lot of hard work growing this industry and ensuring that local businesses benefit from it.
“The Government is committed to working with Territorians in developing a best-practice regulatory regime that is in line with community expectations.”