THE Northern Territory Michael Gunner-led Labor government has released its 2019 Budget reaffirming the Top End’s commitment to the oil and gas sector.
The government has established a five-point plan to develop the gas industry in the Territory and allocated $820,000 in the budget to re-establish the NT Gas Task Force to implement its plan.
Under the plan the government hopes to "propel" the Territory into a world class hub for gas production and manufacturing by 2030 by expanding Darwin's LNG export hub, growing gas supply and establishing a manufacturing industry.
The plan also outlines ambitions that include growing research and training capacity and establishing further pathways to contribute to national energy security across the east coast.
Up to $5 million per year will be available to the task force and industry to pursue gas projects.
A further $1.48 million has been earmarked to implement the recommendations of the Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing in the NT which will include coordination and advice on petroleum environmental management matters.
There is also $1 million for strategic studies, including for gas developments in the Beetaloo Sub-basin, Darwin Harbour and Middle Arm.
The government also plans to spend $6.5 million to continue to deliver the four-year $26 million Resourcing the Territory Program in an effort to stimulate further exploration and encourage investment.
Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association external affairs director Matthew Doman said the oil and gas industry continued to play a "crucial role in revitalising the economy."
"The industry remains committed to working with the Territory government and local businesses to maximise opportunities for employment," Doman said.
Major projects in both the private sector and government facilitated projects took centre stage in this year's budget papers with the government noting that some of the world's largest resource projects are located in the Northern Territory, including the $37 billion Inpex-led Ichthys LNG project.
Handing down the budget in parliament yesterday, NT treasurer Nicole Manison told the parliament there were many "exciting opportunities for onshore gas exploration and development."
"[The] government has plans for the Territory to become a new downstream gas processing industry and manufacturing hub, attracting billions of dollars in international investment and creating thousands of local jobs across the Territory," Manison said.
"In the Beetaloo Basin alone, there is an estimated 500 trillion cubic feet of gas in one shale formation - enough to power the nation for 400 years."
Source: Energy News Bulletin
Read more here