The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) has welcomed the South Australian Government’s latest initiative to enhance the State’s energy security.
The government has awarded the first round of Plan for Accelerating Exploration (PACE) gas grants to invest A$24m ($18.48m) to aid five gas exploration and development projects in the state.
The grant is expected to generate approximately A$174m ($134m) by the oil and gas companies in local production projects.
APPEA director Matthew Doman noted that under the PACE programme, companies Santos, Beach Energy, Senex and Strike Energy were awarded grants to develop South Australia’s natural resources.
Doman said: “Industry strongly supports the PACE programme. This sensible policy will help ensure a reliable supply of natural gas to meet the energy needs of local businesses and households.”
The five PACE Gas Grant projects are the Senex-Santos Cooper Basin pipeline project, Beach Energy Otway Basin exploration project targeting conventional reservoirs, Santos Cooper Basin re-fracture stimulation project, Santos Cooper Basin underbalanced drilling project and Strike Energy Cooper Basin deep coal project.
Doman commented that the government’s aid came at a time when onshore exploration activity in Australia is at the lowest level in the last three decades.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics figures state there has been a 64% fall in exploration expenditure in 2016.
Doman said: “The local gas industry will now work with the government and community to help secure reliable, affordable energy supply for South Australians.”
In Australia, the supply of gas has reduced drastically due to most of the LNG being exported, as well as gas bans and moratoria in Victoria, New South Wales and the Northern Territory states.
Image: APPEA hails the Government of South Australia’s PACE programme. Photo: courtesy of APPEA.