$21m in grants to accelerate gas supply

Published Friday, 10 May, 2024 at 12:05 PM

Minister for Resources and Critical Minerals
The Honourable Scott Stewart

  • New Frontier Gas Exploration Program funding awarded to unlock Queensland gas reserves.
  • $21 million in funding to support exploration in the Bowen Basin.
  • Four companies have been awarded funding.

The green light has been given to four new projects in the Bowen Basin which could bring more Queensland gas to homes and businesses sooner.

$21 million in funding has been awarded to Comet Ridge, Denison Gas, QPM Energy, and State Gas Limited to fast-track the development of new gas reserves, bolstering Queensland's efforts to secure reliable gas supplies.

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

This pilot will be similar to Comet Ridge’s successful Mahalo North pilot, with enhanced steering technology to improve lateral well length and design, which can be applied across the Mahalo Gas Hub, and the Bowen Basin.

Since 2017, Queensland has released more than 20,000 square kilometres of land exclusively for domestic supply.

In the 2022–23 financial year, more than 27 petajoules flowed from Queensland to the southern states, enough gas to power nearly 520,000 homes.

Gas will continue to play an important role in underpinning the reliability of the electricity market as Queensland works towards a 80 per cent renewable energy target by 2035. 

Quotes attributable to Resources and Critical Minerals Minister Scott Stewart:

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

“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 means more gas for industry and homes, and more jobs for Queensland.

“It is only the Miles Labor Government that has a clear energy policy.

“We will continue to ensure there is gas supply as we continue to back the renewable energy sector.

“This is unlike the LNP who we know want nuclear energy reactors in regional Queensland but refuse to say what communities they will put them in and where the waste will go.”

Quotes attributable to Comet Ridge Managing Director Tor McCaul:

“Comet Ridge is very pleased to be the recipient of a Frontier Gas Exploration Grant, a further endorsement of the significant position that Comet Ridge has established in the Mahalo Gas Hub area within the Bowen Basin.

“The Mahalo East block is 100% 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.

“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.” 

Further information:

More information about the Frontier Gas Exploration Grants Program