Generic gas pipeline images . Pic Jeff Camden
Generic gas pipeline images . Pic Jeff Camden

CSG exploration project kicks off in Maranoa for first-time company

A first-time Queensland gas company has been selected as the Queensland Government’s preferred tenderer for a new coal seam gas project and is about to kick off a major exploration project in the Maranoa which will survey 114 square kilometres of land.

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The Department of Resources granted the authorities to prospect for AusGasCo’s two sites, denoted ATP2064 and ATP2065, on February 22 for a six-year tenure which includes a four-year work program.

A AusGasCo spokesman said there’s significant technical due diligence and planning that needs to be completed before any operational activities take place during the early stage exploration program.

While there is currently no word on how many employees will be involved, the company will try to source local talent from the Maranoa where possible.

Exploration in the Early Permian Reids Dome has encouraging exploration results in adjacent tenures, according to AusGasCo.

On the ground activities like exploration drilling is planned for the four-year exploration program, but phased operations will only take place after technical due diligence is completed and relevant stakeholders like the Maranoa community and Traditional Owners takes place.

The company is looking for more opportunities to expand its exploration portfolio in Queensland too.

AusGasCo Chairman Frank Connolly said the board and team are excited to be awarded preferred tenderer for the two parcels, which will be foundation tenures for the company as a new entrant in the Queensland energy industry.

“I commend the Government’s confidence in junior explorers, promoting near-term Queensland petroleum exploration and encouraging private investment in the sector,” Mr Connolly said.

“It will benefit the local communities and businesses of central Queensland, the Queensland energy market and the Queensland economy.

“The two tenures are complemented by their location next to a number of quality, producing coal seam gas fields with multiple domestic gas transmission pipelines nearby.”

Minister for Resources Scott Stewart said the government released 8,205 square kilometres for gas exploration in 2020 and believes it will maintain a pipeline of future resource projects.

“These blocks were released during COVID-19 as part of the Palaszczuk Government’s economic plan for recovery,” he said.

“These were sought after due to their proximity to existing gas pipeline infrastructure and processing facilities.”

The State Government has released more than 80,000 square kilometres of land for gas exploration since 2015, over a quarter of it guaranteeing the gas will be for Australian consumers.

The government is also investing $5 million to investigate the feasibility of a physical 500km gas transmission pipeline to connect the Bowen Basin to the domestic and export markets.

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