How central Queensland could solve the gas crisis

Arrow Energy's Moranbah Gas Project could be the first of many CSG plants in central Queensland.
Arrow Energy's Moranbah Gas Project could be the first of many CSG plants in central Queensland. Simon Green

JUST 400km of pipeline could be all that stands in the way of central Queensland solving the Australian gas crisis.

A gas company boss is calling for the north Queensland gas market to be connected to the East Coast network to unlock a massive gas basin.

The Central Queensland Gas Pipeline received state environmental approval with conditions in 2007, but a decade on is not built.

Speaking at an investor conference in Brisbane on Wednesday, Blue Energy CEO John Phillips said CSG in the Bowen Basin could solve the emerging gas shortage.

"We think there is a solution to the gas shortage. And it's in our backyard. We think it's the Bowen Basin gas province,” he said.

Arrow Energy has run gasfields in central Queensland since 2004 but currently only supplies to Townsville. Mr Phillips said connecting the north to the rest of the East Coast would open up the basin.

Multiple speakers at the Australian Energy and Battery Conference said Queensland gas producers could be major beneficiaries in solving the national shortage and supplying the growing Chinese market.

But developing a central Queensland industry to rival that in the state's southwest would not come unopposed.

Environmental group Lock the Gate has previously called CSG development in the Bowen Basin "reckless in the extreme”.

Lock the Gate spokeswoman Carmel Flint said more coal seam gas fields would harm farmland.

"The last thing Queensland needs is more destructive coal seam gas fields that sacrifice agriculture and the environment, all so the gas can be exported off overseas for private profit,” she said.

"Too many Queensland farmers and communities are already suffering the impacts of coal seam gas drilling on their land, water and livelihoods, while most of the gas is exported offshore which has caused gas prices in Australia to skyrocket.”

Mr Phillips said the Bowen Basin had greater proven potential than other Australian gas provinces and could be exploited in a very short time.

"Gas is symbiotic to growing reliance on renewables. The sun doesn't shine at night and wind doesn't blow all the time,” he said.

"We need something to generate base load power between those times, and that is gas.” -NewsRegional


Topics:  blue energy bowen basin coal seam gas gas shortage lock the gate natural gas

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