In­vestors, min­ers at the ready

NT News - - NEWS - ASH­LEY MANICAROS

A GRATE­FUL en­ergy sec­tor has promised to de­liver lo­cal jobs while wel­com­ing the de­ci­sion to al­low the de­vel­op­ment of an on­shore gas in­dus­try.

The Gun­ner Gov­ern­ment has ac­cepted all 135 rec­om­men­da­tions of the sci­en­tific in­quiry into hy­draulic frac­tur­ing headed by Jus­tice Rachel Pep­per, mean­ing the 18-month ban can be re­moved once key rec­om­men­da­tions have been en­acted.

The Aus­tralian Petroleum Pro­duc­tion & Ex­plo­ration As­so­ci­a­tion NT di­rec­tor Matthew Do­man said ex­plor­ers were ready to re­sume their ac­tiv­i­ties as soon as the Gov­ern­ment gives the green light.

“APPEA’s mem­ber com­pa­nies stand ready to in­vest bil­lions of dol­lars in new projects in the Ter­ri­tory,” Mr Do­man said.

“We are deter­mined to do this in a safe and sus­tain­able man­ner, and to gen­er­ate real ben­e­fits for all Ter­ri­to­ri­ans.”

Pan­gaea Re­sources, one of three ma­jor en­ergy com­pa­nies with ex­plo­ration per­mits in the Bee­taloo Basin, wel­comed the North­ern Ter­ri­tory Gov­ern­ment’s de­ci­sion “thank­ing the nu­mer­ous stake­hold­ers” for the sup­port and trust they have shown in en­abling a safe and sus­tain­able in­dus­try to grow in the Ter­ri­tory.

Pan­gaea chief ex­ec­u­tive Su­nil Sal­ho­tra said the de­ci­sion meant the North­ern Ter­ri­tory could play a sig­nif­i­cant role in the pro­duc­tion of af­ford­able and re­li­able en­ergy in Aus­tralia.

“The North­ern Ter­ri­tory pos­sesses a glob­ally sig­nif­i­cant on­shore basin that can lead the way in do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional en­ergy pro­duc­tion,” he said.

San­tos chief ex­ec­u­tive and man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Kevin Gal­lagher de­scribed the de­ci­sion as a “great out­come” for Ter­ri­tory com­mu­ni­ties be­cause it will rein­vig­o­rate the econ­omy.

“Ter­ri­tory busi­nesses, con­trac­tors and work­ers are count­ing on the quick ramp-up of the on­shore gas in­dus­try to get the Ter­ri­tory mov­ing again,” Mr Gal­lagher said.

“As soon we can get back to work, we will em­ploy lo­cal peo­ple, en­gage lo­cal com­pa­nies and re­sume roy­alty pay­ments to host Tra­di­tional Own­ers. San­tos does not want to let them down and we will be ready to go in the 2019 dry sea­son.”

Ori­gin En­ergy ex­ec­u­tive gen­eral man­ager of in­te­grated gas Mark Schu­bert said well test­ing com­pleted just be­fore the mora­to­rium in­di­cated there was a promis­ing ma­te­rial gas re­source in the Bee­taloo Sub-basin.

“We now plan to re­sume work as soon as prac­ti­cal, adopt­ing the rec­om­men­da­tions of the Sci­en­tific In­quiry and gain­ing the nec­es­sary ap­provals to com­plete our re­main­ing ex­plo­ration and ap­praisal com­mit­ments,” he said.

“We look for­ward to work­ing with gov­ern­ment, pas­toral­ists, Tra­di­tional Own­ers and the com­mu­nity to de­liver the ben­e­fits that will come from re­spon­si­bly de­vel­op­ing the Ter­ri­tory’s on­shore nat­u­ral gas re­sources.”

Cham­ber of Com­merce NT chief ex­ec­u­tive Greg Bick­nell said the de­ci­sion had come at a cru­cial time in the his­tory of the North­ern Ter­ri­tory econ­omy.

“The chal­lenges fac­ing the Ter­ri­tory busi­ness com­mu­nity from slug­gish busi­ness con­di­tions un­der­line the im­por­tance of the on­shore shale gas in­dus­try to our fu­ture pros­per­ity,” he said. “We urge the gas com­pa­nies to max­imise lo­cal in­volve­ment and demon­strate how they are go­ing to be so­cially re­spon­si­ble and avoid a FIFO work­force.”

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