Gas development funding boost takes the long line

A clutch of gas projects in the Bowen Basin have received funding to fast-track developments.

One of the recipients is refining a design to drill horizontally to further save on operational expenses.

Funding through the Queensland Government’s New Frontier Gas Exploration Program has gone to Comet Ridge, Denison Gas, QPM Energy and State Gas.

They’ll divvy up $21 million between them.

Resources and Critical Minerals Minister Scott Stewart says gas supply development is in parallel with the development of the renewable energy sector.

“Our gas industry is a critical enabler for Queensland’s economy by providing royalties, (and) secure jobs and is vital to our manufacturing sector and homes,” he says.

“We know we need additional supply, and this investment is critical to keep the gas flowing reliably to Australian homes and businesses.

“These initiatives demonstrate how Queensland is continuing to lead the nation when it comes to gas policy and doing the heavy lifting to meet domestic demands.

“Our gas supply policy is working, supporting exploration in Queensland and maintaining a pipeline of projects. This means more gas for industry and homes, and more jobs for Queensland.”

The announcement closely follows Federal Resources Minister Madeleine King’s release of the Future Gas Strategy which highlights the need to step up supply.

Comet Ridge will use its $5 million grant to drill and test a new pilot scheme, comprising both a vertical production well and lateral (horizontal) well.

Comet Ridge managing director Tor McCaul says the pilot will be similar to Comet Ridge’s successful Mahalo North pilot, with enhanced steering technology to improve lateral well length and design.

“The Mahalo East block is 100 per cent held by Comet Ridge and a successful outcome would further demonstrate the significant scale and strategic importance of the Mahalo Gas Hub in a tight East Coast gas market,” Mr McCaul says.

“The steering technology we plan to utilise for the Mahalo East lateral (horizontal) well will aid in the assessment of the optimum well length and design that can be applied across our entire Mahalo Gas Hub.

“Longer lateral wells equate to less wells required for development and less surface impact and cost.” 

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