Most Queenslanders are familiar with the mining activity going on in Mt Isa – literally a stones throw from the city centre.
As the rest of Queensland taps huge underground gas reserves, Mt Isa could be on the verge of its own gas boom.
Vast parcels of land are being opened up for new gas exploration in the Mount Isa region to test its viability as a new Queensland gas hub.
The Queensland state government announced it was to release over 16,400 square kilometres of land in the North West and South West to specifically look for petroleum and gas exploration.
“exploration is critical for the future development of the North West”
Mount Isa to Townsville Economic Zone president David Glasson said extra exploratory activities in oil, gas and minerals is critical for the future development of the North West.
There are geographic areas within the Georgina Basin that have been flagged by exploration companies who had done a small amount of drilling. Reports indicate the geology and age of rocks is consistent with other developed areas that contain oil and gas.
Up until now there had not been enough surveying completed in order to confirm the validity and amount of deposits. The release of these new land parcels will allow even further exploration in the most highly prospective areas.
Where’s the oil and gas in the Mt Isa region?
Mr Glasson agreed there was cause to be excited and optimistic about a substantial discovery of resources in the region north of Camooweal. If future exploration confirms this theory, and the resource could be viably extracted, then the proposals to develop a gas hub at Mount Isa could become a reality.
“a massive boost for Queensland and it would create even more gas jobs”
If so, this would be a massive boost for the region and it would create even more jobs in gas for Queensland resource sector workers.
This would make the North West self-sufficient for its energy and possibly a net exporter to the southern domestic market and possibly the export market as well,” he said.
Developing the next generation of Queensland resources
Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association chief operating officer eastern Australia, Paul Fennelly, said the recent announcement of further drilling and exploration in the region would allow the next generation of the state’s resources to be developed’.
“It clearly recognises that petroleum and gas production is underpinned by exploration that can potentially attract further investment, generate prosperity and create jobs,” he said.
“new discoveries could deliver strong economic benefits for Queensland”
Minister for Natural Resources and Mines, Andrew Cripps, said the Queensland government had released the land in six areas for petroleum and gas exploration through a non-cash competitive tender.
New discoveries could deliver strong economic benefits for Queensland and potentially create tens of thousands of jobs,” Mr Cripps said.
He went on to say it was vital Queensland resources continue to be explored and developed as there is still a significant ‘mother load’ of resources in the ground just waiting to be discovered.
Gas jobs in Queensland
Queensland is naturally rich in resources. The mining and emerging gas industry is going to provide a solid future for thousands upon thousands of Queensland locals for many years to come. Coal mining has been one of the big export earners for the State over the years and will continue to play a huge part in future export earnings for years to come.
“the next best thing is to extract the coal-seam gas”
Vast coal deposits are still to be mined, with some mega resource projects sitting in neutral, waiting to be developed when global conditions are right. Coal deposits stretch from the South East of Queensland to the far North Western reaches of the state. In terms of location and access to coal seams, it is frequently too expensive to dig up coal, so the next best thing is to extract the coal-seam gas from the rich seams.
“billions of dollars worth of coal-seam gas”
Queensland is realising there is billions of dollars worth of coal-seam gas beneath it’s surface and the gas industry is being developed at a frenetic pace as developing nations in Asia start to look for new sources of supply.
CSG-LNG jobs for Queensland
The construction of 3 land based LNG trains, or production platforms on Curtis Island, off the coast of Gladstone in the norther end of the State, has created the means to process coal-seam gas into LNG.
Gas is pumped hundreds of kilometres from the Surat and Bowen Basins via a network of new pipes, passing through dozens of compressor stations that keep the gas flowing towards Curtis Island.
“Queensland could become one of the biggest LNG suppliers”
When the Curtis Island LNG production kicks in, gas will be liquified, pumped onto purpose-built ships and shipped across the globe. In terms of supply and demand, Queensland could become one of the biggest LNG suppliers in the world. Australia as a whole has massive resources of gas, the majority of gas reserves are located off the coast of Western Australia.
Gas jobs are plentiful, although in an industry where highly technical people with years of experience are preferred, there are still many gas jobs for unskilled and semi-skilled workers.
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