REGIONAL UPDATE: Santos regional manager Andrew Snars, Councillor Cameron O'Neil and Senex operations officer Darren Greer answer questions at the Roma Enterprise Evening on behalf of the Surat basin Enterprise (TSBE).
REGIONAL UPDATE: Santos regional manager Andrew Snars, Councillor Cameron O'Neil and Senex operations officer Darren Greer answer questions at the Roma Enterprise Evening on behalf of the Surat basin Enterprise (TSBE). Sarah Dionysius

Gas plans in pipeline

TWO leading oil and gas exploration and production companies in the Maranoa delivered regional updates at the Toowoomba Surat Basin Enterprise evening in Roma last week.

Alongside Senex chief operating officer Darren Greer and Santos regional manager Andrew Snars, Councillor Cameron O'Neil spoke on behalf of Maranoa Regional Council.

With only 160 personnel on the books, Mr Greer said Senex was a small but growing company.

"Unfortunately we're not burdened by a portfolio of global projects, so the two projects we've got have to work,” he said.

As well as existing oil fields in the Cooper Basin, Senex is in phase 2 of its Western Surat Gas Project.

"We're going to drill 30 new wells and, ultimately, we're looking at 425 wells over the next five years.

"Once we finish our current phase two, we'll move into phase three, which will be the first major scale development, which will include some processing facilities, more earthworks, more wells and more infrastructure for us,” Mr Greer said.

Maranoa regional manager for Santos Andrew Snars spoke about the recent change in the gas industry.

"Everyone in this room would be well aware that the natural gas industry is certainly going through a tough time and Santos has had to respond, just like everyone else,” he said.

"That's meant a lot of changes to adapt to our low-cost operating environment.”

Despite that, Mr Snars said Santos' place in the Maranoa was fixed.

"We've been part of the Maranoa for several decades and, yes, we've moved from construction into operations, and, yes, the lower oil price has meant we've reduced our activities in recent times.

"Even so, we've still been a steady contributor to the Maranoa... and we're a significant local employer with plenty of knock-on employment opportunities.

"Excluding salaries for staff, Santos' procurement was $73 million in the Maranoa for 2015/16,” Mr Snars said.

Cr O'Neil delivered an update on current economic development activity in the region, including updates on developments at the Roma Saleyards, the largest cattle selling centre in Australia.

"Our region has a lot to offer as a business centre, a regional hub for service delivery and as a community.

"Maranoa needs a council that is willing to strive for growth, be bold in their thinking and make the hard decisions that may initially be unpopular but long-term, set the region up to reach its full potential.

"The easiest thing to do is nothing,” Cr O'Neil said.

Check out the gallery below from the event:


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