The Australian Government today has released the Unlocking the Beetaloo: The Beetaloo Strategic Basin Plan to accelerate exploration and development of the Northern Territory’s Beetaloo Sub-basin.
The Beetaloo Sub-basin is located approximately 500 kilometres south-east of Darwin. It covers roughly 28,000 square kilometres and primarily comprises vast, rolling plains.
The Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources (DISER) states that the Beetaloo Sub-basin has the potential to rival the world’s biggest and best gas resources, and the $224 million Beetaloo Strategic Basin Plan outlines how this potential can be realised as soon as possible.
The Plan is the first deliverable under the Federal Government’s Gas-fired Recovery Strategy. It is the first of five plans to be delivered under the Strategic Basin Plans program, which was announced in the 2020-21 Federal Budget.
The development of the Beetaloo Sub-basin has the potential to:
- Create significant regional job opportunities;
- Deliver cheaper and more reliable gas to households and industry;
- Provide an additional source of gas for LNG export facilities;
- Spur substantial downstream manufacturing opportunities; and
- Produce opportunities and benefits for local communities.
The Plan, which encompasses more than $220 million in new funding, sets out the priorities for the sub-basin development.
As part of the plan, the government states that it will:
- Advance over $50 million to support $200 million of exploration activity before 30 June 2022; and
- Provide $174 million in new NT road funding to improve road safety, increase road reliability during the wet season and boost regional productivity.
The government is committed to ensuring development of the Beetaloo benefits local and Indigenous communities with jobs and business opportunities for the region.
It has already invested $1.9 million to develop a Beetaloo Aboriginal Economic Development Strategy and $2.2 million to establish a Barkly Business Hub.
DISER will work to identify the resource requirements needed to ensure positive outcomes to Traditional Owners from the development of the Beetaloo.
DISER outlines that it has already commenced working with the NT Government, gas operators and local and Indigenous communities to ensure the Beetaloo is developed safely and sustainably.