Article – NT has ‘considerable’ shale gas potential

1 July 2014
Esmarie Swanepoel
Mining Weekly

The Northern Territory government would spend A$2-million over the next four years to assess the region’s shale gas potential, Mines and Energy Minister Willem Westra van Holthe told delegates at the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (Amec) Convention.

Westra van Holthe noted that the territory’s onshore petroleum industry had recently experienced an unprecedented expansion, driven largely by the state’s potential for shale gas and oil resources.
Current estimates have projected that the territory hosts some 200-trillion cubic feet of shale gas over six basins, and he said that this was a conservative estimation.
“Even if only 10% of this resource proves recoverable, we will have considerable potential,” the Minister said.
“The territory’s onshore potential is grabbing a lot of attention now, with some 90% of our land mass either granted tenure or under application. In the past few years, some of the largest onshore seismic surveys ever in Australia have been undertaken in the territory, and up to 25 wells are planned over the coming year.”
The Minister noted that onshore exploration expenditure during 2014 was likely to be well in excess of the capital invested in mineral exploration, with a large number of greenfield wells being drilled across the territory.
He further said that the discovery of large-scale onshore gas reserves in the territory would also have major flow-on benefits for the minerals sector in terms of new energy supplies for mining projects, as well as further impetus for the development of infrastructure in regional and remote parts of the Northern Territory.
Currently, there were some 18 mineral projects under construction or in the approvals process in the territory, representing a potential capital investment of around A$4-billion, and up to 3 000 jobs during the construction phase, and 2 000 jobs over operations.
Courtesy of Mining Weekly