The biggest new resources project in Queensland in eight years – Arrow Energy’s $10 billion Surat Gas Project – has the go-ahead to generate up to 1000 jobs.
Approval has been granted for 14 petroleum leases between Dalby and Wandoan that will bring an extra 5000 petajoules of gas to market over 27 years – including 240 petajoules per annum during peak production from 2026.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said it was another vote of confidence in Queensland as a resources investment destination.
“The Surat Gas Project will create up to 800 construction jobs and 200 ongoing operational jobs, as well as millions of dollars in business opportunities for local suppliers,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“Currently scheduled to be operational in 2020, the project will produce gas for LNG for export and for domestic users.
“This is the biggest resources project since 2011 when the LNG projects were sanctioned.”
The leases cover around 2,500 km² on blocks between Dalby and Chinchilla in the gas-rich Surat Basin, where major gas projects are already operated by Origin, Santos and QGC.
Construction is expected to start later this year with first gas forecast to flow from 2020.
Mines Minister Anthony Lynham said Arrow Energy proposed to use nearby existing QGC infrastructure including processing facilities and pipelines to transport gas to domestic and export facilities.
“This approach has two major benefits: it will get gas to the market faster and it significantly reduces the project footprint and the potential impact on local communities and the environment,” Dr Lynham said.
Under Queensland’s regulatory regime, Arrow has met strict environmental, financial, and Native Title requirements, and is proceeding with binding land access compensation agreements with local landholders.
The Surat Gas Project follows the expansion of Arrow’s Daandine and Tipton fields during 2016/17, at a cost of $850 million.
Arrow CEO Mingyang Qian welcomed the Palaszczuk Government’s announcement.
“The approval of these petroleum leases is a critical milestone in Arrow delivering 5 trillion cubic feet of gas into the market. It’s a positive step for Arrow and for Queensland.”
Queensland’s next major gas project to start production will be Senex Energy’s domestic-only Project Atlas near Wandoan and Miles, with first gas forecast to flow by the end of the year.
Other recent major gas expansions are Shell QGC’s: the $500 million Project Goog-a-binge and the $1.7 billion Project Charlie, which together created about 2000 jobs.
GLNG also announced a $750 million investment in its Roma East Gas Project last year and $450 million investment to develop the Arcadia fields, creating another 700 jobs.
Almost 25,000 km² has been released in Queensland for gas exploration since early 2017, almost a third of it for the domestic market only.