QLD pretends to repair its mighty gas blunder

From QLD Resources today:

Queensland has given the green light to a new Surat Basin based project which will see more gas made available for  the domestic market.

“Last month I announced that a joint venture between Santos and Shell had won the right to explore for gas in Surat Basin – gas which will be set aside solely for use in Australia,’’ Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said.

“Having ensured strict environmental, financial and land access requirements are in order, my department today granted an Authority to Prospect,” Dr Lynham said.

“The ATP will allow the Santos and Shell joint venture to undertake exploration activities and ascertain how much gas exists.

“If they choose to move to production phase, they do it on the understanding that any gas produced must stay in Australia.

“This is yet another example of Queensland doing the heavy lifting on gas and is further proof of the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to securing Australia’s energy future.

The 393 square kilometre parcel of land 19km east of Surat in the Surat Basin, was released for competitive tender in early 2018 as part of Queensland’s nation leading land release strategy.

Dr Lynham announced Australia’s first release of gas land to supply the domestic market in February 2017.

Since then, almost another 25,000 km2 has been released for in Queensland for gas exploration, almost a third of it for the domestic market only.

The latest block to go to tender is 22 km south west of Chinchilla.

Last month, Senex announced go-ahead for its Project Atlas in the Surat Basin on the first 58 km2 release of land the Queensland Government granted for domestic-only gas production in March 2018.

How is the QLD government going to ensure that this gas stays in Australia given both Shell and Santos are running their giant white elephants below capacity? If nothing else, they can sell this gas locally then buy more from the wider third party market anyway.

State based reservation which is a part of the wider pipeline network is worse than a bad joke given it provides a fraudulent fig leaf for the gas export cartel.

The entire east coast market needs a reservation policy and Labor must deliver it.

David Llewellyn-Smith


  1. What’s the point in reserving gas for domestic customers if the cartel can still charge whatever they like? The problem isn’t a shortage of gas, it’s the lack of price control on whatever gas enters the local market.

  2. What about this:

    Industry has been invited to bid for the right to explore for gas along a vast stretch of ocean between the Twelve Apostles Marine National Park and the South Australian border.

    “drilling from onshore to access offshore fields is permissible, subject to regulatory approvals”

    Any commercial quantities of gas that are found would be reserved for Australian consumers ahead of the export market, the briefing states.

    The government’s insistence that any gas flowing from the potential new gasfields must go to Australian customers first is telling, given much of Victoria’s onshore gas is tied up in large export contracts.


    If gas reservation works in WA, would it not work in new fields in Vic and QLD?