BRISBANE: The Queensland government is weighing up how to secure enough gas for its future energy needs while fostering a new liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry.
There are eight LNG projects proposed in Queensland, representing a total capital expenditure of more than A$40 billion (K96.5 billion).
If all these projects proceed, more than 50 million tonnes of LNG could be produced from the Surat and Bowen basins each year and piped to the coast for export.
The industry would thus have the potential to add more than A$3 billion (K7.2 billion), or around one per cent, to the gross state product and create up to 18,000 direct and indirect jobs.
The government yesterday released a document spelling out how it intends to work with industry proponents and the community as LNG development gets under way.
The blueprint for Queensland’s LNG industry discusses potential effects on groundwater and the environment, as well as the royalty regime, which would see the government collect around A$850 million (K2 billion) a year from a mid-scale industry exporting 28 million tonnes a year.
Also released was a consultation paper on the security of gas supply for the domestic market.
Based on known gas reserves, there is enough gas to supply Queensland’s power stations and a mid-scale LNG export industry for at least the next 50 years.
But the availability of gas may not ensure supply to the domestic market, because of the difficulty of domestic gas-fired electricity generators to secure long-term contracts.
“Potential supply constraints are particularly problematic because gas is the most likely interim fuel for electricity generation as the economy transitions to low-emission power generation,” it says.
The consultation paper looks at a gas reservation policy, where gas producers are required to sell 10% or 20% of gas production to the domestic market.
An alternative is a prospective gas production land reserve, where prospective gas fields would be held back to secure supply for future domestic use. – AAP