$50 million in grants will be provided through the Beetaloo Cooperative Drilling Program to support further exploration of the Northern Territory’s Beetaloo Basin.
The Beetaloo Sub-basin, located approximately 500 kilometres south-east of Darwin, covers approximately 28,000 square kilometres and consists mainly of vast, rolling plains. It sits within the larger 180,000 square kilometre McArthur Basin which covers the majority of the north-east of the Northern Territory.
The Beetaloo Sub-basin has the potential to be a world-class gas province. Estimates of the gas resource in the region vary but the results from preliminary exploration to date have been encouraging.
The Northern Territory Government estimates that there are over 200,000 petajoules of gas in place in the sub-basin (NT Geological Survey Record 2017-003). Not all of this gas will be recoverable. Yet, even at a very conservative recovery rate of 10 per cent this is more than ten years’ worth of domestic gas demand. Results to date also indicate the presence of liquids-rich gas and potential oil resources.
Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia, the Hon. Keith Pitt MP, said the Beetaloo Cooperative Drilling Program is expected to deliver approximately 10 additional exploration wells in the Beetaloo by 2022, and bring forward at least $150 million of private investment from companies. The Government’s agenda is to bring gas from the resource into the market by at least 2025.
“This Commonwealth grants program will support gas operators to speed up exploration and development of the Beetaloo Basin.”
The program is part of the Beetaloo Strategic Basin Plan and the Government’s $224 million commitment to the Beetaloo. Senator for the Northern Territory, Dr Sam McMahon, expects plan to generate significant development in the Top End, creating up to 6,000 jobs over the next 20 years and helping Australia remain a world leader in gas.
“This investment by the Morrison-McCormack Government will provide new opportunities for thousands of Territorians and ensure the NT can emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic in a strong position.”
The Beetaloo Cooperative Drilling Program will provide grants of between $750,000 and $7.5 million, up to a total of $50 million, to gas companies to support exploration that occurs before 30 December 2022.
For more information on the Plan, visit the Unlocking the Beetaloo: The Beetaloo Strategic Basin Plan report on the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources website.