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    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Premier and Minister for Trade
    The Honourable Peter Beattie

    Wednesday, July 18, 2007


    Premier and Minister for Trade
    The Honourable Peter Beattie

    Wednesday, July 18, 2007


    Premier Peter Beattie today welcomed the announcement of a proposal by Santos to construct a liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility at Gladstone.

    “The Santos project could generate a $5-7 billion investment in gas field development together with a proposed gas liquefaction plant, product storage tanks and export terminal at Gladstone,” Mr Beattie said.

    “We are talking about a project that could produce $1 billion a year in exports, create 3000 jobs during the construction phase and sustain more than 200 jobs once it is in operation.

    “The potential is enormous, with Santos keen to utilise Queensland’s vast reserves of coal seam gas from both the Bowen Basin and the Surat Basin before piping it to Gladstone and then liquefying it for export by ship.

    “Santos has already invested considerable time and effort in planning and developing this proposal and is the first company to apply for and be granted significant project declaration by the Coordinator-General.

    “Significant project declaration will help Santos streamline its feasibility study and planning process.

    “Santos proposes to export 3-4 million tonnes per annum of Liquefied Natural Gas - from its Bowen and Surat Basin acreage - through the port of Gladstone each year.

    “There are potentially a large number of local and State agencies responsible for considering approvals for this project. The gas fields are located in a number of local government areas and the gas pipeline will also cross a number of local authorities so the approvals process will be complex.”

    Mr Beattie said Santos would now be required to undertake an assessment of the environmental impacts of the project. This assessment will be supervised by the Coordinator-General on behalf of the Government.

    “The company has also been negotiating with the Central Queensland Ports Authority to secure part of the land owned by the Authority on the western side of Curtis Island to site its proposed plant,” he said.

    “The Government is very aware of the impact a major development of this size would have on the Gladstone area and would ensure steps were taken to manage the growth if the Santos project went ahead.

    Mr Beattie said this project will unlock Queensland’s abundant coal seam gas resources and will stimulate further industry-wide investment in the expanding coal seam gas industry.

    “Proven and probable coal seam gas reserves in the Bowen and Surat Basins are the largest onshore reserves in the country,” he said.

    “The new industry will grow in tandem with the domestic market for coal seam gas which is expanding its share of the Australian energy market.

    “Analysts suggest coal seam methane will become an increasingly important energy source in coming years.”

    The drivers for this demand include increased electricity use, the desire of many countries to reduce their reliance on Middle East energy sources and the “”cleaner’’ qualities of natural gas or coal seam gas compared with other fossil fuels.

    Liquefied natural gas is the most economic means of exploiting isolated gas reserves. The gas is chilled to minus 162 degrees Celsius at which point it condenses and reduces to a liquid less than one 600th its volume as a gas, and in this liquid form the gas may be economically transported by LNG tanker.

    18 July, 2007

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