The Federal Government is providing a $50 million leg-up to accelerate gas exploration and development in the Northern Territory’s Beetaloo sub-basin.
Resources Minister Keith Pitt said the government’s approach would speed up exploration and production in the Beetaloo by around two years.
“The government will provide up to $50 million for exploration that occurs before 30 June 2022, allowing the benefits of this important asset to be realised sooner,” Mr Pitt said.
“The funding will fast-track drilling by providing grants to cover 25 per cent of eligible exploration costs, capped at $7.5 million per well and three wells per exploration venture.
“The Beetaloo Basin has been described as the ‘hottest play on the planet’ with the potential to be a world-class gas resource, transform the Northern Territory economy and generate 6,000 jobs by 2040.”
The NT Geological Survey estimates the sub-basin could hold more than 200,000 petajoules of gas.
Mr Pitt said that even if only a very conservative 10 per cent of that gas was recovered, it could supply Australia’s domestic gas demand for more than 10 years.
“Industry analysis estimates the development of the sub-basin could increase economic activity by between $18 billion and $36.8 billion over the next 20 years,” he said.
The Beetaloo Strategic Basin Plan is a key early step in the Gas-fired Recovery agenda, and is the first of five plans to be delivered under the $28.3 million Strategic Basins Plan program announced in the October Budget.
Queensland’s Northern Bowen and Galilee basins were also earmarked as priorities in the program.