Beetaloo Basin a key element of the gas-fired recovery

Media release courtesy of The Hon Angus Taylor MP
Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction

16 October 2020

Joint media release with Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt

Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor will today visit the Beetaloo Basin in the Northern Territory to build on the Morrison Government’s gas-fired recovery plan.

Announced as part of the 2020-21 Budget, Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said the Beetaloo Basin is the first of five key basins to be explored under the Morrison Government’s $28.3 million Strategic Basin Plans.

“The Beetaloo Basin is a world-class resource that has the potential to drive significant development in the Top End to create local jobs and help Australia remain a world leader in gas,” Minister Taylor said.

“The Government’s Strategic Basin Plans will accelerate this development, driving investment and job creation in our regional and Indigenous communities as we recover from COVID-19.

“The Beetaloo Basin has the potential to supply more gas to Australian homes and manufacturers, helping to increase competition and drive down gas prices across the market. This will mean more Australian gas is working for all Australians.”

Minister Taylor will inspect progress of Empire Energy’s test drilling program at its Carpentaria-1 site. 

Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt says this is an important milestone.

“The Beetaloo Basin has enormous potential for the Territory and the country, and it’s great to see this work getting underway” Minister Pitt said.

“Our Strategic Basin plan will drive more jobs in regional Australia and provide the cheap reliable energy industry needs to grow manufacturing.”

Empire Energy is evaluating the potential to produce gas from the Velkerri Shale in the Beetaloo sub-basin. Recent exploration has shown promising signs, finding liquids-rich gas at a shallower depth than previously expected.

Beetaloo was chosen as the first location for the first Strategic Basin Plan to capitalise on industry momentum and to build on existing government initiatives in that region.

This includes the $8.4 million already committed by the Government to accelerate the development of the Beetaloo including conducting additional environmental work and work to ensure the gas development will benefit the Aboriginal Peoples of the Barkley Region and the Northern Territory.

While visiting the NT, Minister Taylor has also held talks with Northern Territory Minister for Renewables and Energy the Hon Eva Lawler MLA to discuss a Commonwealth-Northern Territory energy and emissions reduction agreement.

The Commonwealth and NT Governments signed an agreement in late 2018 to work together to develop the Territory’s gas industry.

The NT is a significant part of Australia’s gas industry. Offshore gas processed in Darwin accounts for 11 per cent of Australia’s LNG production.

Darwin is also a key LNG export hub, with the onshore processing facility for the Ichthys LNG Project, the Darwin LNG Project, and the world-first Prelude Floating LNG project in the Timor Sea.

Last month, Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Minister Taylor released the Government’s comprehensive plan and vision for a gas-fired economic recovery. 

This plan is focussed on three action areas:  

  • unlocking supply, 
  • ensuring there is efficient transportation, 
  • and empowering consumers.

In addition to the Strategic Basin Plans, the Government’s gas package  includes an inaugural National Gas Infrastructure Plan that will identify priority pipelines and critical infrastructure needed for the future.

The Government will also establish an Australian Gas Hub at Wallumbilla to improve price transparency, renegotiate the Heads of Agreement with exporters to strengthen price commitments, and facilitate an industry-led code of conduct to level the playing field in gas contract negotiations.

Media contacts:

Minister Taylor’s office 02 6277 7120

Minister Pitt’s office 02 6277 7180

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