Minister Anthony Lynham
Minister Anthony Lynham Contributed

More Queensland gas fuels manufacturing jobs

IN A national first, an APLNG-Armour Energy joint venture will seek out gas - entirely for Australian manufacturers - in Queensland's highly prospective southwest.

Mines Minister Anthony Lynham announced the joint venture's successful bid for 18sqkm of land 22km southwest of Chinchilla.

Under permit conditions, gas can only be sold to Australian manufacturing businesses.

"This is about more petajoules of Queensland gas in pipes, fuelling jobs in manufacturing,” he said.

"While other states close their doors, Queensland continues to rise to the challenge to keep our manufacturers in business.”

The 18sqkm block is highly prospective, as exploration levels in the area are high and it is surround- ed by production leases.

First gas is expected mid-2020.

Australia Pacific LNG CEO Warwick King and Armour Energy chief executive officer Roger Cressey welcomed the announcement.

"The proximity of the block to our existing infrastructure will allow us to bring the gas to the east coast market efficiently and on competitive terms,” Mr King said.

For Mr Cressey, it's a "great opportunity” for Armour.

"As an Australian company headquartered in Brisbane, Armour is pleased that the award of this block to the joint venture will contribute to the provision of more affordable energy and feedstock to Australian manufacturing businesses,” he said.

Armour is already producing up to 3.6 petajoules of gas per annum, and exploring for gas for across its 2090 km2 of exploration acreage on the gas-rich Roma Shelf near its Kincora project.

It was one of four companies awarded exploration tenders to look for domestic-market-only gas in September last year.

The others are:

Chi Oil and Gas on 5266sqkm near Quilpie

Santos/Shell joint venture on 393sqkm near Surat and

Central Petroleum on 77sqkm near Miles.

Since 2015 the government has released more than 39,000sq km of land for gas exploration, more than a fifth of it guaranteeing the gas will be for Australian buyers.

The latest announcement follows last week's news that Senex Energy would seek gas for Australian-supply only on 153sqkm of land near Miles.

Senex has already announced sales contracts with domestic manufact- urers for gas from Project Atlas near Wandoan, the first project to develop from the Palaszczuk Government's domestic-only gas policy initiative.