The Northern Territory government in Australia decided to implement the prerequisite conditions to restart onshore gas exploration by the end of 2018.
An independent scientific inquiry into hydraulic fracturing has concluded the challenges and risks associated with any onshore shale gas industry in the NT can be appropriately managed.
Commenting on the decision, CEO and managing director of the LNG player Santos, Kevin Gallagher said, “Territory businesses, contractors and workers are counting on the quick ramp up of the onshore gas industry to get the Territory moving again.”
“With exploration and appraisal success, the NT’s McArthur Basin has the potential to do for the NT and Australia what the shale gas revolution has done for America,” Gallagher said.
He added that opening up access to this resource in the Territory will boost national energy security, potentially attracting new energy-intensive industries to Darwin and supporting new and expanded pipelines connecting to the east coast domestic gas market.
“There is a window of opportunity to also grow LNG exports as global supply gaps open up in the early to mid-2020s,” Gallagher said.
He concluded that implementing the conditions for onshore gas exploration by the end of 2018 and getting the regulatory framework in place to allow onshore gas development by 2021 is vitally important to deliver a viable onshore gas industry.