Santos’ new authority to prospect for gas will benefit CQ
Natural gas continues to lead the state's COVID economic recovery with Queenslands onshore gas industry contributing $70 billion annually and the green light given for more projects.
The Palaszczuk government has announced a new Surat and Bowen Basin project set to deliver more gas available to the domestic market.
Resources Minister Scott Stewart said Santos had been given the Authority to Prospect ATP over a 764 square kilometre parcel of land located 65km east of Surat.
Santos managing director and chief executive officer Kevin Gallagher said the company would continue to invest into the state and local economies.
"Right through the global pandemic, Santos, a proudly Australian company, maintained its drilling program and 2021 will be the same, with around $800 million being invested right here in Queensland to drill another 180 wells and deliver more gas supply," Mr Gallagher said.
"The gas we produce is supporting Queensland customers across the state as well as exports from the LNG industry out of Gladstone.
"This will support the jobs of the nearly 1200 Queensland workers in our operations and provide more opportunities for small and family businesses in regional Queensland.
"Importantly, Queensland and east coast customers pay less for gas than Asian customers and they will continue to enjoy a competitive gas price advantage as we bring more low-cost supply to market from this new ATP and our other Queensland developments.
"Despite the volatile global environment, Santos and our GLNG partners drilled around 700 wells and invested A$2 billion in gas field developments in Queensland over the last two years.
"This is a huge demonstration of Santos' commitment to Queensland jobs, Queensland businesses and our regions."
Minister Stewart said since 2015 the Palaszczuk government had released more than 80,000 square kilometres for gas exploration.
"We are serious about finding gas to keep power stations generating, stoves burning and workers working and have imposed strict conditions that any gas produced from this venture heads straight to the Australian market," Mr Stewart said.
"The granting of this ATP means Santos has fulfilled all necessary land access agreements, environmental and Native Title requirements and can soon get down to work exploring for gas as part of Queensland's $70 billion onshore gas industry.
"Our gas supply policy is working for industry, it is keeping gas pumping and it is keeping jobs flowing."