As part of Western Australia’s 2022-23 State Budget, initiatives to support the development of the oil and gas decommissioning industry have been announced, including $5 million over the forward estimates to the Centre for Decommissioning Australia.

Decommissioning activities for the industry will increase in coming years as some existing production assets come to the end of their operating lives.

APPEA WA Director, Claire Wilkinson, said, “We’re also pleased to see funding in the 2022-23 Budget of $779,000 for a Western Australia Carbon Dioxide Geological Storage Atlas to provide updated data on potential carbon dioxide geological storage sites, and $150,000 for a study to evaluate the full portfolio of carbon sequestration technologies and options.

“Carbon sequestration will be critical to us reaching net zero emission outcomes, and we encourage the Western Australia Government to expedite legislation to enable deployment of this important technology.”

The Government also announced $52 million for the Kimberley Ports Authority, of which $45 million is for the construction of a new supply base and $7 million for base infrastructure for a chemical processing and storage facility to support oil and gas operations in the offshore Browse Basin.

However, this spending is contingent on a contractual commitment to establish the supply base by a third party to move a supply base to Broome, with the third party to repay the $52 million investment over a 20-year period.

Ms Wilkinson said gas produced in the state had significant flow-on benefits to all sectors of the economy, helping to provide reliable and affordable energy for other industries such as mining and minerals processing, as well as generating electricity for homes, hospitals, school and businesses.

Industries such as mining and minerals processing in turn support jobs and contribute royalties that have helped lift Western Australia’s Budget surplus to $5.7 billion in 2021-22, with another $1.6 billion surplus forecast in 2022-23.

“The provision of affordable and available energy in Western Australia via natural gas is a great enabler for other parts of our economy,” Ms Wilkinson said.

“Gas has enabled the Western Australia mining sector to grow, employ more people, and pay more royalties to the Government.

“It’s good to see the State Government utilise the benefits of our natural resources to provide important cost of living relief to families, and increase investment in essential services such as hospitals and schools.”

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