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  • 15 Sep 2020 2:22 PM | Sonia Harvey (Administrator)

    AUSTRALIA’s prime minister Scott Morrison, alongside the minister for energy Angus Taylor, and minister for resources Keith Pitt, today confirmed a gas-fired recovery to drive Australia’s economic growth, post-pandemic. 

    Today's release from the PM officially locks in the economic strategy the federal government will take to fend off a serious growing recession, and gas is at the heart of it, hoping to spur a manufacturing boom with low-priced feedstock.  

    "We'll work with industry to deliver a gas hub for Australia that will ensure households and businesses enjoy the benefits of our abundant local gas while we hold our position as one of the top global LNG exporters," Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.

    "This is about making Australia's gas work for all Australians. Gas is a critical enabler of Australia's economy.." 

    Much of the plan is based on the recommendations of the National COVID Coordination Commission, headed by former mining executive Nev Power, but has not included a $4 per gigajoule price target, which received pushback from industry when a draft of the report was leaked earlier this year.  

    However it is committed to cheaper supply, and transparency with hopes to turn Queensland's Wallumbilla into a Henry Hub-like development in the US with clear pricing signals to market, to be called the Australian Gas Hub. It is also developing a National Gas Infrastructure Plan.  

    This will be done in part via a voluntary and industry-led code of conduct around pipeline use for producers and buyers to be developed  by February next year.  

    It also wishes to "ensure Australians are paying the right price for their gas by working with the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission to review the calculation of the LNG netback price which provides a guide on the export parity prices and to use the  NGIP to develop customer hubs or a book-build program that will give gas customers a more transparent and competitive process for meeting their needs."  

    It plans to essentially underwrite new pipeline development if industry does not step up to it, and ensure more gas supply into market to support lower prices and general price transparency via developing five key gas basins, beginning with frontier areas in the Beetaloo Sub-basin, North Bowen Basin and the Galilee.  

    The government will spend A$10.9 million to identify priority pipelines and critical infrastructure under its new NGIP and says this new plan will "highlight where the government will step in if the private sector doesn't invest".  

    "The government wants the private sector to step-up and make timely investments in the gas market. If the private sector fails to act, the government will step in - as it has done for electricity transmission - to back these nation building projects. This may include through streamlining approvals, underwriting projects or the establishment of a special purpose vehicle with a capped government contribution," it said this morning. 

    Source: Energy News Bulletin

    Read more here


  • 14 Sep 2020 2:35 PM | Sonia Harvey (Administrator)

    THE HON SCOTT MORRISON MP 

    PRIME MINISTER 


    THE HON ANGUS TAYLOR MP 

    MINISTER FOR ENERGY AND EMISSIONS REDUCTION 

    SENATOR Dr SAM McMAHON 


    SENATOR FOR THE NORTHERN TERRITORY  

    MEDIA RELEASE 

    The Morrison Government is taking action to secure Australia’s long-term fuel supply, keep prices low for consumers and create over 1000 new jobs through a new domestic fuel security package.   

    As part of our 2020-21 Budget, the Government will deliver a $211 million investment in new domestic diesel storage facilities, reforms to create a minimum onshore stockholding, and measures to support local refineries.   

    This will be delivered through a combined market and regulatory framework, with three key elements: 

    ·          Investing $200 million in a competitive grants program to build an additional 780ML of onshore diesel storage 

    ·          Creating a minimum stockholding obligation for key transport fuels; and 

    ·          Backing the refining sector by entering into a detailed market design process for a refinery production payment. 

    Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia’s fuel security was essential for our national security and that we had been fortunate to not have experienced a significant fuel supply shock in over 40 years.   

    “Our positive changes to the fuel market will ensure Australian families and businesses can access the fuel they need, when they need it, for the lowest possible price,” the Prime Minister said.   

    “Fuel security underpins our entire economy. Not only does it keep Australia moving, the industry supports thousands of people across the country and this plan is also about helping keep them in work.   

    “Like all sectors of the economy, the COVID-19 pandemic is having an impact on Australia’s fuel industry. The events of 2020 have reminded us that we cannot be complacent. We need a sovereign fuel supply to shield us from potential shocks in the future.”   

    Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said the Government recognised that Australian refineries are under significant financial pressure and is committed to working with the sector to ensure it has a long-term future.   

    “Almost all Australians are reliant on fuel and it is the lifeblood of so many sectors in our economy. Our farmers and miners rely heavily on diesel to do their jobs and provide services, while the transport sector sources 98 per cent of its energy from liquid fuels,” Minister Taylor said.   

    “That’s why it is critical that Australia has control over its fuel security arrangements and the Government is making sure of that.”   

    CLP Senator for the Northern Territory, Dr Sam McMahon said the construction of additional diesel storage will not only secure our diesel supplies but will support up to 950 jobs, along with 75 new ongoing jobs, many in regional areas.  

    “Supporting our refineries will ensure Australia has the sovereign capability it needs for any event, protect families and businesses from higher prices and support thousands of jobs across the economy as we recover from COVID-19,” Senator McMahon said.   

    A minimum stockholding obligation will act as a safety net for petrol and jet fuel stocks, and increasing diesel stockholdings by 40 per cent.   

    The Government will work with industry over the next six months on the legislative and regulatory design of the package.   

    Refineries play an important role in securing Australia’s fuel security and putting downward pressure on fuel prices for consumers. Modelling has shown that a domestic refinery capability is worth around $4.9 billion (over 10 years) in value to Australian consumers in the form of price suppression.    

    The Government is committed to a sovereign on-shore refinery capacity. We will design a market system for a production payment that recognises the fuel security benefits Australia’s refinery sector provides. It will protect Australian families and businesses from the around 1 cent per litre increase that modelling shows will hit fuel if all refineries close in Australia. For refineries to receive support, they will be required to commit to stay operating in Australia.   

    The Government recognises that the future refining sector in Australia will not look like the past. However, this framework will protect Australian families and businesses from higher prices and will secure jobs in the fuel sector and in fuel-dependent industries, such as our farmers, truckers, miners and tradies.   

    Additional measures will also be introduced to reduce the burden on industry and improve fuel market information.   

    This includes modernising the online fuel reporting system to make it easier for industry to report stock levels to Government and improve the timeliness of data. The Government will also remove the application fees for fuel standard variation requests.   

    This domestically-focused package builds on Government action to purchase up to $94 million of crude oil at record low global prices to be stored in the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve for access during a global emergency.  

    ENDS  

    Media contacts:

    Minister Taylor’s Office: Liam O’Neil, 0428 113 617

    Senator McMahon’s Office: 08 8948 3555


  • 10 Sep 2020 2:55 PM | Sonia Harvey (Administrator)

    EMPIRE Energy has mobilised its Schlumberger drill rig to its Beetaloo Sub-basin site to spud well Carpentaria-1.

    It plans to drill the well to 2900 metres then log, case and suspend it.  

    The work will represent "a major step forward in Empire's assessment of the eastern Beetaloo Sub-basin and the further appraisal of the known productive horizons within the thick Kyalla Shale and Velkerri Shale sequences," the company said today. 

    Santos and Origin Energy have found them to be productive in their respective wells, to the west of where Empire will drill.  

    The Schlumberger Land Rigs 183 will start drilling in the second half of the month. 

    Civil works including water bore drilling, upgrading the access track and preparing the well pad are ongoing. All work is being done by Northern Territory-based companies.  

    It will re-enter Carpentaria-1 after the wet season to carry out vertical fraccing and an extended production test.  

    The company raised $10 million via a placement last month.  

    The placement to institutional and sophisticated investors was offered at 30 cents per share, doubling its cash in the bank to A$20 million. 

    Independent certifiers Netherland Sewell and Associates gave its permit EP187 a best estimate prospective resource of 13.6 trillion cubic feet of gas, with 2.3Tcf in the Velkerri Shale and 14 million barrels of oil equivalent in the Kyalla shale.

    Source: Energy News Bulletin

    Read more here


  • 08 Sep 2020 3:00 PM | Sonia Harvey (Administrator)

    CNC Project Management has been awarded a contract to plan out the route for a vital pipeline that will connect the Beetaloo Basin to Darwin.

    The pipeline will be the "missing piece" of the puzzle in developing the massive onshore Beetaloo Sub-Basin. 

    According to tender documents, the Northern Territory government has given a contract worth $327,140, to CNC to carry out scoping and pipeline route planning. 

    The proposed pipeline will be 100-metres wide and run through a corridor near the Stuart Highway, through Katherine and Pine Creek, to Darwin's industrial area. 

    Under the pre-feasibility study scope, CNC will be required to consider landowner arrangements where the pipeline will be laid. CNC will also consider engineering, geotechnical, environmental, and financial considerations. 

    "This is aimed to provide clarity to the Gas Taskforce and Government for future decisions regarding acquisition of a corridor to transport gas from onshore reserves to existing and planned gas industry infrastructure," the tender documents state. 

    The award comes as the Northern Territory government looks to fast-track onshore oil and gas exploration in an effort to support a potential manufacturing industry in the Top End. 

    Currently Origin Energy, Falcon Oil & Gas, Santos, Armour, and Empire Energy are exploring vast potential liquids rich gas resources across the Beetaloo and broader McArthur basins.

    Source: Energy News Bulletin

    Read more here


  • 07 Sep 2020 4:43 PM | Sonia Harvey (Administrator)

    Chief Minister Michael Gunner has today announced the members of the new Northern Territory Government’s Ministry.

    The new Cabinet’s task is to keep steering the Territory through the coronavirus crisis and make the Territory Australia’s comeback capital.

    This is a jobs-first Cabinet. The economic recovery team is spearheaded by the Chief Minister who will also be Treasurer, Minister for Major Projects and Territory Economic Reconstruction, and Minister for Strategic Defence relations.

    Deputy Chief Minister Nicole Manison will lead a major jobs-focused ministry as Minister for Mining and Industry, Minister for Northern Australia and Trade, Minister for Defence Industries, Minister for Agribusiness and Aquaculture, and Minister for International Education.

    These portfolios represent many of the Territory’s most important industries and our biggest job-creating opportunities for the future. They are integral to making the Territory the comeback capital.

    Minister Manison will also continue to serve as Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services.

    Natasha Fyles will continue as Leader of Government Business in the Legislative Assembly. She will also continue her excellent work as Health Minister, to help keep the Territory the safest place in Australia.

    In continuing as Police Minister and Health Minister, Ms Manison and Ms Fyles will also keep serving on the Security and Emergency Management Sub-Committee of Cabinet, ensuring certainty and continuity during this public health emergency.

    Minister Fyles has been tasked with working with the federal government to pursue opportunities for the Howard Springs facility to be a centre for national resilience, recognising the important role it has played during this crisis, as Minister for National Resilience.

    In addition to these tasks, Minister Fyles will also take on a senior role in our economic team as Minister for Tourism and Hospitality, Minister for Major Events, and Minister for Racing, Gaming and Licencing.

    The Territory’s tourism and hospitality industry is a fundamental pillar of the Territory’s economy and a massive job creator. It has been hit hard by the coronavirus crisis, and the Territory cannot have a strong economic recovery without a strong tourism sector. Minister Fyles is in charge of making sure our tourism industry helps lead our comeback.

    Minister Fyles will also continue as Minister for Alcohol Policy, entrenching the ground-breaking reforms the Government has delivered in this area.

    Eva Lawler will take on a super-portfolio as Minister for Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics, Minister for Renewables and Energy, Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water Security, and Minister for Essential Services.

    Eva will continue to oversee our unprecedented infrastructure program which has supported thousands of jobs in hard times, while also driving the jobs of the future in renewables.

    Paul Kirby completes the Cabinet’s economic recovery team as Minister for Small Business, Minister for Jobs and Training, and Minister for Public Employment.

    Minister Kirby will also serve as Minister for Corporate and Digital Development, Minister for Veterans Affairs and Minister for Recreational Fishing. 

    Lauren Moss will be appointed Minister for Education, Minister for Women, Minister for Youth, Minster for Seniors, and Minster for Children.

    As part of their new responsibilities, Minister Moss and Minister Kirby have been tasked with ensuring there are training and job pathways for our young Territorians who are close to completing their education and entering an uncertain employment market in the middle of a global recession.

    Selena Uibo will serve as Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Minister for Treaty and Local Decision Making, and Minister for Parks and Rangers.

    While we made huge strides in our first term on delivering housing, jobs and justice for First Nations Territorians, there is still much more to do, and Minister Uibo will lead our work on Aboriginal advancement.

    There are two new appointments to the Cabinet, selected by the Labor caucus today.

    Kate Worden joins Cabinet as Minister for Territory Families and Urban Housing. Combining these two critical portfolios will help ensure information is shared more efficiently, and the teams can work closely together. This will deliver better outcomes for vulnerable Territorians and help make sure families don’t fall between the gaps.

    Ms Worden will also serve as Minister for Disabilities, Minister for Sport, and Minister for Multicultural Affairs.

    Chansey Paech joins Cabinet as Minister for Local Government, Minister for Remote Housing and Town Camps, Minister for Indigenous Essential Services, Minister for Central Australia Economic Reconstruction, and Minister for Arts and Culture.

    Mr Paech will be a strong voice for Central Australia and remote communities in the Cabinet, and ensure the whole Territory is part of the comeback. He takes on responsibility our massive remote housing program – one of the Government’s most important commitments.

    The Machinery of Government changes that will be effected as part of the new Cabinet reduces the number of agencies from 15 to 11. The combination of portfolios will ensure government works more efficiently and effectively for Territorians through swifter action and decision making, and delivers an estimated budget saving of $5 million.

    Quotes attributable to Chief Minister Michael Gunner:

    "Territorians have asked us to keep working for them and that’s exactly what we will do.

    "This is the comeback capital Cabinet. Our job is to turn this once-in-a-century crisis into a once-in-a-century opportunity, and make the Territory Australia’s comeback capital.

    "Our team has the right mix of energy and experience to keep controlling the virus, keep the Territory safe, and to put us onto the road to recovery.

    "Putting the Territory first means putting jobs first. Our economic team are all focused on jobs.

    "We will come out of this crisis with a jobs-led recovery. My team and I will keep doing whatever it takes to protect jobs and create jobs for Territorians."

    GUNNER MINISTRY.pdf (pdf 86 kb)

     From: Chief Minister of the Northern Territory


  • 07 Sep 2020 12:04 PM | Sonia Harvey (Administrator)

    SUPERMAJOR Shell has begun the process of re-starting production from its fields connected to the Prelude Floating LNG vessel offshore Western Australia, however is facing difficulties eight months after the facility was shut down over engineering problems.

    Shell Australia confirmed to Energy News that it had begun the process to produce gas from its Browse Basin fields 475 kilometres offshore Broome on Friday afternoon. 

    "The process for hydrocarbon restart of Shell's FLNG facility has commenced," a Shell Australia spokesperson told Energy News on Friday. 

    "Once we have safely started up, we will be in a stronger position to talk about timing of production and cargo." 

    However, according to one source on board the vessel the restart had some issues with "multiple trips" of the plant and two swivels inside the turret that moors the giant LNG facility in place. 

    Engineering sources said it was unlikely that the vessel would be back online until next year. 

    Prelude has now been offline for about eight months. The US$12 billion LNG facility was an engineering feat when it was initially brought into production in mid-2019. 

    In January 2020 the 6000-tonne facility hit engineering problems and was shuttered in early February.

    Prelude has a production capacity of 5.3 million tonnes a year of liquids and condensate, including 3.6 million tonnes per year of LNG. 

    Source: Energy News Bulletin

    Read more here


  • 04 Sep 2020 11:58 AM | Sonia Harvey (Administrator)

    Nominations are open for the 2020 Chief Minister's NT Export and Industry Awards presented by Chamber of Commerce NT. 

    This year the Awards will give recognition to our NT exporters and industry leaders who have shown resilience and adapted quickly in response to COVID19 and the restrictions and economic crisis that it has brought with it. Finalists and winners will be celebrated at a gala dinner presentation on 6 November.

    Export Award categories include Agribusiness and Food, Technology and Innovation, Natural Resources and Related Services, Business Services and Support, International Education and Training, Frontline Business, Regional Business and more.      

    Local Industry Awards include: Manufacturing Industry, Resource Supply and Service, Indigenous Business, Industry Innovation and more. 

    Nominations are open until midnight Monday 14 September and we encourage you to nominate resilient Territory businesses!

    For more information and to download a nomination form, visit https://www.chambernt.com.au/ibc-content/export-awards   


  • 04 Sep 2020 11:55 AM | Sonia Harvey (Administrator)

    SREBA studies update

    The NT Government has determined that a Strategic Regional Environmental and Baseline assessment (SREBA) is required for the Beetaloo Sub-basin, in accordance with recommendations from the Independent Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing.

    The Framework and technical guidance notes for each of the studies can be found at 
    here. There are six domains that comprise a SREBA, which are all at different stages of progression and are detailed below. A SREBA must be completed before any production approvals for unconventional gas activity occurs.

    Social, Cultural and Economic Baseline Studies and Strategic Regional Assessment
    Circle Advisory has been appointed to carry out independent studies in the Social, Cultural and Economic domain as a part of the SREBA for the Beetaloo Sub-basin.

    Initial engagement and stakeholder contact to co-design a scope of works for the Social, Cultural and Economic studies is commencing this week.

    Over the next three months, Circle will be talking to people and organisations throughout the region about what should be measured and how people might want to be involved in these studies. Circle will also be available to meet and talk with people when they visit local towns and communities during the development of the scope of works.

    The full baseline studies will commence next year, once the scope of works has been developed and approved by the Minister for Environment and Natural Resources.

    Progress updates for the remaining five SREBA domains in the Beetaloo Sub-basin
    • Terrestrial studies: Detailed environmental mapping has been undertaken in the Beetaloo as part of the Geological and Bioregional Assessment (GBA) program, with further ecological studies as part of the SREBA to commence later this year, once the scope of works is agreed.
    • Aquatic studies: Some work has been undertaken as part of the GBA, with further studies under SREBA to commence later this year once the scope of works is agreed.
    • Water studies: Some groundwater studies have been undertaken as part of the GBA program, and the development of a scope of works for further surface and groundwater studies under SREBA is well underway.
    • Greenhouse gas studies: Initial baseline assessments were undertaken in the region during 2018-2019, with further work to commence later this year in order to build a more comprehensive baseline.
    • Environmental health studies : A call for tenders for the design and development of the environmental health studies will be released in the coming days.

    Please direct all correspondence to:
    Hydraulic Fracturing Inquiry Implementation Taskforce
    GPO Box 4396, Darwin NT 0801
    T 08 8999 6573
    hydraulic.fracturing@nt.gov.au 
    hydraulicfracturing.nt.gov.au 


  • 02 Sep 2020 12:07 PM | Sonia Harvey (Administrator)

    THE federal government will provide A$37 million for two new electricity generation projects in the Top End, a 12-megawatt gas-fired power plant in Darwin and a 10MW solar and battery farm near Batchelor, 100 kilometres south of Darwin.

    The government will provide Merricks Capital the funds via its Northern Australian Infrastructure Facility, taking the value of approved projects from the facility to $830 million. 

    The NAIF financing mechanism is provided at a fixed rate with interest rates and payback periods determined separately for each individual project. 

    "These new energy projects will help modernise Darwin's energy grid networks and reduce reliance on older and less efficient gas and diesel generators," resources minister Keith Pitt said in a statement. 

    He said the two projects would link up with existing transmission infrastructure between Darwin and Katherine, and will supply up to 90% of future electricity generation needs for the Northern Territory's largest energy retailer Rimfire.

    The Hudson Creek power station and the Batchelor Solar and Battery Farm would create around 160 new jobs during the construction phase, according to the government. 

    Under the funding agreement, Merricks will also work with the Larrakia National Aboriginal Corporation to deliver a range of initiatives which the government said included cross-cultural awareness training to employees and contracts. 

    Source: Energy News Bulletin

    Read more here


  • 02 Sep 2020 12:01 PM | Sonia Harvey (Administrator)

    Hydrogen and hydrogen-related technologies represent the next big energy opportunity for Australia

    Australia is well-positioned to play a leading role in the emerging hydrogen energy market, having the resources, infrastructure, proximity and established trade relationships with key markets in Asia, and demonstrated know-how to reliably, safely and efficiently scale production and export of technology, capability and energy resources.

    With the right focus on high value skills and commercialising intellectual property, an Australian hydrogen industry could conservatively produce an increase to Australian Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of up to $11 billion on a Net Present Value (NPV) basis and 7,600 jobs by 2050 [1]. This includes a range of technical and trade occupations, with many of these in regional areas.

    Australia’s National Hydrogen Strategy (NHS) [2] outlines the nation’s path to becoming a global hydrogen player, through building a strong domestic hydrogen sector that will underpin Australia's exporting capabilities. The NHS supports NERA to lead the establishment of a National Hydrogen Cluster to help grow capabilities and drive industry collaboration across the hydrogen value chain and ensure that Australian companies are well placed to supply new technology, products and services to domestic and international markets.

    Developing regional clusters around key hydrogen projects and infrastructure hubs (see: Arup study for COAG Energy Council), or in regions that will service those hubs (e.g. metropolitan areas, such as Perth or Brisbane), will help to enhance local cohesion and capability in the hydrogen value chain.

    As part of the National Hydrogen Cluster Consultation Workshops held earlier this year, NERA recognised that in order to establish a successful National Hydrogen Cluster, a bottom-up approach is first required to tap into networks and capabilities that already exist. The consultation workshops were held in each state and territory, including the regional energy centres of Gladstone, Darwin and Karratha, and engaged with almost 300 hydrogen industry professionals across the value chain. To view the findings of this engagement, click here.

    NERA’s Hydrogen Seed Funding Program supports the formation of a network of hydrogen technology clusters around Australia. These clusters can accelerate and optimise the development of hydrogen technology and expertise. Once established, this network of hydrogen clusters will play a central role in connecting to establish the national cluster — which is proposed to operate as a virtual network. The national cluster aims to establish a global identity and a recognised brand for Australian hydrogen technology and expertise, accelerate hydrogen supply chain development, and reduce overlaps and identify gaps in the development, deployment, and commercialisation of new technologies.

    For more information visit: https://www.nera.org.au/regional-hydrogen-technology-clusters 

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