Queensland Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Anthony Lynham
New Wave Of Exploration Keeps Gas Industry Ticking
Victor P Taffa
Two Australian-based companies, Bridgeport Energy and Metgasco, have accepted offers to explore for more petroleum and gas in the resource rich Cooper Basin in south west Queensland.
Natural Resources and Mines Minister Dr. Anthony Lynham today announced that the exploration companies had won the tenders to explore approximately 2,150 km2 of the Cooper and Eromanga Basins in south-west Queensland.
Dr. Lynham said Bridgeport Energy and Metgasco would need to meet environmental and native title requirements with the Mithaka people and Wongkumara people before being granted exploration tenure.
The companies will have to enter into access agreements with landowners and meet other obligations before significant on-ground exploration activities can occur.
“Cooper Basin is a highly prospective region that has been supplying petroleum and gas to New South Wales, South Australia and Queensland for 50 years.” Dr. Lynham said.
“Bridgeport Energy and Metgasco’s exploration activity will build on the thousands of jobs and business opportunities that the Cooper Basin’s resources have already fuelled.”
“Exploration is vital to ensure we have a strong resources sector that continues to generate royalties, support jobs and business opportunities for Queensland communities.” Dr. Lynham said.
Bridgeport Energy has accepted an offer of three areas covering about 1,250 km2 and Metgasco has accepted two areas covering about 900 km2, in an area bounded by Windorah, Betoota, Eromanga and the South Australian border.
Dr. Lynham said he had spoken with local traditional owners and communities in the south west to personally advise them of the exploration tender outcome.
“My Department of Natural Resources and Mines will continue to update stakeholders throughout the process of the granting of these exploration permits.” Dr. Lynham said.
“I want to assure the local communities, landholders and the Mithaka people and Wongkumara people that any exploration activities in these areas will operate under Queensland’s strong regulatory framework, strict environmental conditions and land access conduct and compensation requirements established by previous Labor governments.”
Successful tenderers are expected to conduct seismic surveys and to drill between 5 and 10 wells once they are granted licences.
More than 75 % of Queensland’s portion of the Cooper Basin is currently covered by petroleum and gas exploration or production authorities. This has seen about 1,500 wells drilled, 103,000 km2 of two-dimensional seismic and 7,500 km2 of three-dimensional seismic investigation undertaken.