GREEN LIT: PROJECT ATLAS
SENEX’S Project Atlas could deliver first gas to the domestic market as early as next year, now that a petroleum lease and preliminary environmental approvals have been secured. The high-quality coal seam gas permit, southeast of Wandoan in the Surat Basin, was awarded to Senex in September 2017 following a competitive State Government tender. The granting of the lease will enable Senex on-ground access to progress environmental studies and preliminary activities for the development of 100 wells and associated infrastructure. Senex managing director Ian Davies said the company expected to secure remaining State and Federal Government approvals by mid-2019, and deliver first gas by late 2019. “We are in detailed discussions with parties to provide gas processing infrastructure, have materially progressed financing discussions with prospective lenders, and look forward to engaging with domestic gas customers in the near term,” Mr Davies said. “The direct award of a petroleum lease for Project Atlas is an innovative solution by the QLD Government to help address the shortage of new east coast gas supply.” State Mines and Energy minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the Palaszczuk Government used existing legislative powers to ensure the gas would only be sold and used in Australia. “Construction work can now begin on the wells and pipelines needed to pump up to 26 Petajoules per year of additional gas into the domestic market,” Dr Lynham said. Queensland Resources Council (QRC) chief executive Ian Macfarlane said the granting of the license with a domestic-only condition “was an example of the State’s leading regulatory framework”. “Not only will it create 150 jobs but the pilot has been a success in best-practice regulation in action – fast, effective and focussed on outcomes," Mr Macfarlane said. “Other State Governments and Territories need to get their heads out of the sand and back the science and their own industries. “Only yesterday an inquiry recommended to the NT Government to lift its fracking moratorium and develop its onshore gas.”
Senex expects to deliver first gas from Project Atlas by late 2019.