TODAY the Queensland Government has announced the release of 11,000 sq km of land for exploration of potentially-rich petroleum and gas resources in the Cooper and Eromanga Basins along with 6sq km of high-prospective land in the Surat Basin.
The announcement comes ahead of tomorrow's celebrations hailing the start of commercial operations from the QGC project's first production train.
Natural Resources Minister Dr Anthony Lynham, who is in Gladstone today, said the Surat Basin area was close to existing operations and the infrastructure of both QGC and APLNG.
"QGC will tomorrow commission its first plant at Gladstone, APLNG is projecting it will export its first LNG in October, and Santos GLNG is set for export in the third quarter of 2015," he said. "Further exploration and development represented a new and significant opportunity for regional development and jobs."
He said the Cooper and Eromanga basins also contained vast petroleum and gas resources.
"They are among Australia's most prospective and commercially-viable regions for deep gas and oil development," he said.
"New discoveries of gas resources will support future domestic gas supplies for Queensland as well as the world-leading liquefied natural gas export industry in Gladstone."
Dr Lynham said the Palaszczuk Government was seeking interest from around the globe in exploring the resources.
"The CSG-LNG industry operates under a strong regulatory framework, strict environmental conditions and land access conduct and compensation requirements put in place by Beattie and Bligh Labor governments," he said.
"Exploration is vital to ensure we have a strong resources sector that will continue to make a significant contribution to Queensland's future economic prosperity."
Successful tenderers will need to meet environmental, land access and native title requirements before being granted a six-year Authority to Prospect exploration permit.
The closing date for tenders is October 8, 2015.
- Size: 6sq km. Location: 22km SE of Condamine
- Target: Highly prospective for CSG
Cooper and Eromanga Basins
- Size: 11,000sq km. Location: 1,000km W of Brisbane
Target: Deep oil and gas in the Cooper Basin, oil in the Eromanga Basin and conventional oil and gas in the both. Some areas may be prospective for CSG in the Winton Formation and shale oil in the Toolebuc Formation of the Eromanga Basin
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