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Northern Territory

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  • 20 Apr 2018 3:48 PM | Sonia Harvey (Administrator)

    Chief Minister Michael Gunner today announced that Dr David Ritchie would be appointed as the independent officer to oversee implementation of the 135 recommendations from the scientific inquiry into hydraulic fracturing.

    Mr Gunner said that Dr Ritchie’s wealth of experience would help give the community confidence that all 135 recommendations would be thoroughly implemented.

    “Dr Ritchie brings over 20 years of experience as a Chief Executive Officer to this role including heading the Department of Natural Resources, Environment and the Arts, and the Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority,” Mr Gunner said.

    “As a member of the inquiry panel, Dr Ritchie’s knowledge and familiarity with the recommendations of the report make him ideally placed to ensure implementation is done honestly and effectively.

    “There are passionate Territorians who were hoping for a different decision this week and some are concerned about Government’s capacity to implement these reforms,” Mr Gunner said.

    “I want every Territorian to be confident that we will faithfully implement every recommendation so we can benefit from the jobs and wealth creation of this industry while also protecting our precious environment.

    “The appointment of Dr Ritchie will ensure implementation is transparent and that the public can hold the Government to account.”

    Dr Ritchie’s areas of specialisation include Cultural history and engagement, Natural Resource Management, Public Policy, Governance, Risk Assessment, Organisational Development and Community Engagement.

    He is the current Chair of the Northern Territory Planning Commission.


  • 20 Apr 2018 3:46 PM | Sonia Harvey (Administrator)

    A 3D printing technology for metal that can be used in the operations is among the oil and gas projects to share in $1.8 million in new National Energy Resources Australia funding. 

    The new technique, being developed with technology firm SPEE3D, Charles Darwin University and industry partner Inpex, can operate around 1000 times the speed of conventional 3D printing at a fraction of the cost. 

    It is said to have the potential to revolutionise industrial activities in remote areas by allowing onsite metal part production. 

    "The technology will enable operating environments to fabricate necessary parts on site and limit costly delays associated with downtimes that can be in the order of tens of millions of dollars," NERA said. 

    It is among seven applications that received new co-funding from NERA's $15.6 million Project Fund, upon the formalising of contracts, and is said to align with the organisation's Sector Competitiveness Plan 10 year roadmap for the national upstream energy sector. 

    NERA chief executive Miranda Taylor said the new projects supported the organisation's goals. 

    "Projects that receive NERA funding are selected to deliver results on a national scale and have sector-wide impact, assisting the energy resources sector unlock a potential $10 billion in value that NERA has identified," Taylor said. 

    She said the projects would aid in ensuring Australia's global competitiveness by adapting to the changing global and domestic energy market and accelerating technological change through innovation and the improved transfer of knowledge and technology. 

    The seven new projects bring the total number of projects NERA is delivering across Australia to 32 and the number of project partners directly involved to more than 80. 

    Other projects to receive funding were a collaboration between CSIRO, the University of Western Australia and industry partners including AWE and Whitebark Energy to develop systems to monitor water, soil, atmospheric and seismic conditions to measure the impact of past and future oil and gas activities in the northern Perth Basin. 

    From this, a publicly-available scientific database will be established to provide reliable baseline methane data to enable ongoing monitoring.  

    "The project will lead to better informed decisions about the use of water resources in the area and provide the community and regulators with the means to make informed decisions about oil and gas activities in the Perth Basin," NERA said. 

    Another project to increase understanding  of the Great Artesian Basin and how it relates to resource development project will be led by the University of Queensland and bring together a team of independent reviewers and contributors including Australia Pacific LNG, Santos and Arrow Energy. 

    An effort to reduce hydrate risk in subsea jumpers connecting to larger manifolds and pipelines will be once again be led by the University of WA and take in oil and gas partners including Chevron, Total E&P UK, Woodside and OneSubsea. 

    A virtual operating environment project led by Quadrant Energy and bringing together Curtin University Innovation Centre, Flicq, Optika and AWS will develop and install a novel integrated system to provide early notice of changes in plant operating conditions such as leaks or rotating equipment faults.  

    Origin Energy and the University of Sydney will develop a machine learning-based sub-surface geological model and an Australia-wide project to reduce the assessment burden on exploration companies associated with new survey activities will take in partners including BP, Quadrant, Caltex, CRC Care and CSIRO.

  • 18 Apr 2018 2:54 PM | Sonia Harvey (Administrator)

    The Turnbull government’s highly vaunted Northern Australia ­Infrastructure Facility program will be overhauled to “make it ­easier for projects to attract ­finance” from the fund.

    With the NAIF having processed only one major project since its establishment in mid-2016, Resources Minister Matt Canavan will today announce changes in a move to “increase its flexibility and improve its potential” and accelerate investment in northern Australia.

    Mr Canavan said the program had “proven more challenging than we thought”.

    “It’s a challenging exercise. It’s quite an innovative way of seeking finance for infrastructure,” Mr Canavan said. “When you find that what you expected is not working as intended, you change tack ... and that’s what we’re doing with these changes.”

    The government will amend the investment mandate of the program, based on findings of an independent review of the facility by prominent business leader Tony Shepherd.

    “Mr Shepherd consulted widely with NAIF, investors, project proponents and governments. He found the important need to ­develop the north still exists, but there have been challenges to making it happen,” he said.

    “The government shares this view and we are committed to ­developing industry and job opportunities in northern Australia.

    “We will implement changes to the NAIF investment mandate recommended by the expert ­review, in response to a key finding that (it) is too restrictive.”

    Mr Canavan said he had been advised that a “number of existing proposals could be finalised ­because of these changes”.

    “I’m also hopeful that this can be a reset and relaunch that ­attracts new interest to look again at the NAIF for finance to develop the north,’’ he said.

    The program offers up to $5 billion over five years in concessional finance to “encourage and complement” private sector investment in northern Australia infrastructure, including developments in airports, communications, energy, ports, rail and water.

    Its board last year made its first investment decision, indicating to the government it would offer ­financial assistance of about $16.8 million for the Onslow ­Marine Support Base Project in Western Australia.

    Mr Canavan said the changes to the program’s investment mandate would include the removal of the 50 per cent cap, increasing the amount of finance available to infrastructure projects by “allowing the NAIF to finance up to 100 per cent of a project’s debt”.

    The change would avoid the federal government inheriting the major­ity of financial risk in a project.

    “There are currently 17 projects in the due diligence and execution phases across all three northern jurisdictions. There are seven in the Northern Territory, five in Western Australia and five in Queensland,’’ Mr Canavan said.

    “There are 90 active inquiries in the pipeline. These are from ­diverse sectors including energy generation and gas pipelines, transport, tourism, agriculture, manufacturing, water infrastructure and communications.”

    Source: The Australian

  • 17 Apr 2018 3:33 PM | Sonia Harvey (Administrator)

    The NT Government has lifted its moratorium on fracking.

    NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner today announced the government will allow the development of onshore shale gas industry.

    A moratorium had been placed over the industry for the past year has been lifted.

    Energy company Jemena has welcomed the decision to lift the ban on hydraulic fracturing.

    Following today’s decision, Jemena intends to progress its plans to extend and expand the $800 million Northern Gas Pipeline (NGP).

    Jemena expects the work to create around 4000 jobs across northern Australia, with early estimates placing the cost of the project at around $3 - $4 billion. 

    Jemena’s managing director Paul Adams said the NT had great potential as the future heartland of Australia’s gas industry. 

    “Today’s decision paves the way towards a well-regulated industry that benefits the people of the Territory while helping to bring much needed additional gas to where it is needed most,”  Mr Adams said. 

    “This is good news for locals who can expect to benefit from additional jobs and training opportunities in the gas industry, as well as Territory businesses who will benefit directly from contracts on upcoming projects.

    “This decision now gives us the certainty we need to move forward, and we encourage the Territory Government to maintain pace and move to swiftly implement the inquiry’s recommendations,” he said.

    “Provided sufficient and appropriate gas is proven and will be available for transportation, our ambition is to commence preliminary works on the extension and expansion of the Northern Gas Pipeline in 2019.”

    Mr Adams said the NGP will be completed by late 2018.

    It will initially transport around 90 terajoules of gas, with the extension and expansion of the Northern Gas Pipeline having the potential to bring around 700 terajoules of gas – enough gas to meet the average daily domestic gas needs of Brisbane, Sydney, and Adelaide – to market.

    Much controversy surrounded the year long inquiry into hydraulic fracturing.

    The Seed Indigenous Youth Climate Network has slammed the NT Government for lifting the ban, saying the decision to allow gas companies to frack more than half of the NT will destroy land and water.

    Seed national director Amelia Telford said Territorians will not stand down until the NT government bans dangerous gas fracking for good.

    “The Gunner Government has betrayed the people of the Northern Territory and Aboriginal communities by allowing fracking companies to poison our water, land and climate,” Ms Telford said. 

    “No regulations can stop the dangerous greenhouse gas pollution that will warm our climate and make the Northern Territory virtually unlivable in decades to come.”

    Source: North West Star

  • 17 Apr 2018 2:00 PM | Sonia Harvey (Administrator)

    The Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association welcomed today's announcement by the Northern Territory Government that the near two-year moratorium that stalled onshore gas exploration and development would end, enabling the creation of thousands of jobs in the Territory, billions of dollars of government revenue and the delivery of much-needed energy supply for the NT and the nation. 

    The Government has accepted the key finding of the Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing in the Northern Territory that any risks associated with onshore gas development and hydraulic fracturing can be managed by effective regulation. 

    APPEA NT Director Matthew Doman welcomed the Government’s decision to support development of the NT’s abundant gas resources but warned the manner and timeframe in which it implemented the Inquiry’s 135 recommendations would be critical in determining the commercial viability of the industry. 

    In particular, the Government has accepted that 30 of the recommendations must be brought into effect before exploration activity can resume. 

    “If they are to be implemented they must be addressed within the next six months to ensure the industry can be on the ground exploring in the 2019 dry season,” Mr Doman said. 

    “Businesses, contractors and workers in the Territory are counting on the quick ramp up of the gas industry to get the Territory moving again.  Explorers are ready to resume their activities as soon as the Government gives the green light. 

    “As soon we can get back to work, we will again employ local people, engage local companies and resume royalty payments to host Traditional Owners. Our exploration activity will build our knowledge of the gas resources, groundwater and the environment that contains them — and enable informed decisions about future development. 

    “APPEA’s member companies stand ready to invest billions of dollars in new projects in the Territory. We are determined to do this in a safe and sustainable manner, and to generate real benefits for all Territorians.” 

    APPEA Chief Executive Dr Malcolm Roberts said states opposed to onshore

     gas development should be reconsidering their positions.

    “As we look to Friday’s COAG Energy Council meeting, the Territory

     Government has sent an important message to other jurisdictions about

     the energy security, emissions reduction and economic benefits of natural

     gas.  It is time for those other jurisdictions to hear that message,” Dr

     Roberts said.

    Media contact: 

    Kieran Murphy – 0408 151 922 

    kmurphy@appea.com.au

  • 17 Apr 2018 1:08 PM | Sonia Harvey (Administrator)

    Key recommendations that must be implemented prior to any further exploration approvals being granted 

    1. Development and implementation of a code of practice for the decommissioning of onshore shale gas wells. 

    2. Development and implementation of a code of practice to ensure the integrity of onshore shale gas wells. 

    3. Well integrity management systems and plans mandated for all onshore shale gas wells to be hydraulically fractured. 

    4. Development of a wastewater management framework, including an auditable system for tracking movements of wastewater. 

    5. Gas companies must have a water extraction licence under the Water Act to extract water for hydraulic fracturing. 

    6. Prohibition on the use of surface water for hydraulic fracturing. 

    7. Prohibition on the installation of groundwater extraction bores to supply water for hydraulic fracturing within 1km of an existing or proposed domestic or stock water supply bore. 

    8. Prohibition on the reinjection of wastewater into deep aquifers and conventional reservoirs. 

    9. Mandatory disclosure of all chemicals (including metals, salts and NORMs) in hydraulic fracturing fluids, flowback and produced water. 

    10. Petroleum wells be constructed to at least Category 9 or equivalent. 

    11. Prohibition on petroleum wells being drilled within 1km of an existing or proposed groundwater supply bore. 

    12. Groundwater must be monitored using multilevel monitoring bores. 

    13. Prohibition on the discharge of treated or untreated wastewater into waterways. 

    14. Completion of a baseline weed assessment in all areas of the exploration permit accessed by a gas company. 

    15. Gas companies must have a dedicated weeds officer. 

    16. Gas companies must have an approved weed management plan in place. 

    17. Development and implementation of a code of practice for the ongoing monitoring of methane from shale gas wells. 

    18. Monitoring of methane concentrations for a six month period. 

    19. Requirement for ongoing methane monitoring and reporting. 

    20. Prohibition on all exploration and production activity within 2km of any habitable dwelling. 

    21. Existence of an Authority Certificate. 

    22. ‘No go zones' declared. 

    23. The community must be given an opportunity to comment upon all draft environmental management plans submitted to the Government for approval. 

    24. Requirement that all reports and notices on environmental incidents are publicly disclosed. 

    25. Enforceable codes of practice be mandated for drilling and hydraulic fracturing activities. 

    26. Cumulative impacts of petroleum and other activities in the region must be considered by a decision-maker. 

    27. Open standing for judicial review of decisions made under the Petroleum Act and Petroleum Environment Regulations. 

    28. A monitoring and compliance strategy must be developed and implemented. 

    29. A whistleblower hotline must be established and any reports to it must be immediately investigated. 

    30. There must be a clear separation between the agencies responsible for environmental and promotional approvals.

  • 17 Apr 2018 9:00 AM | Sonia Harvey (Administrator)

    Chief Minister Michael Gunner today announced the Northern Territory Government had accepted all 135 recommendations of the independent fracking inquiry.

    Mr Gunner said implementation of the recommendations of the Final Report of the Inquiry would now begin so that Territorians could benefit from the creation of new jobs while protecting our unique natural environment for generations to come.

    “We promised to be a Government that restores trust, listens to the community and creates jobs,” Mr Gunner said.

    “We promised an independent, scientific inquiry after which we would either ban fracking or allow it in highly regulated circumstances in tightly prescribed areas.

    “We have kept our promise.

    “We have accepted the key finding of the report – that if all the recommendations are implemented the risk from fracking can be reduced to an acceptable level.

    “We have also accepted the Inquiry’s advice about no go zones and coupled with areas where there is no petroleum potential, 49% of the Territory will be frack free, including in National Parks, Conservation Areas, Indigenous Protected Areas, towns, residential and strategic assets, and areas of high cultural, environmental or tourism value.

    “In the remainder of the Territory, strict new laws and regulations will be put in place to ensure that when fracking takes place, we protect the environment, the cultures and lifestyles that rely on it, and the many tourism, pastoral and agricultural jobs that depend on it.

    Some of the key elements of these new laws and regulations include:

    • Ensuring all Environmental Management Plans for fracking must be assessed by the EPA and signed off by the Minister for the Environment;

    • Strict new requirements that must be met before exploration approval is granted including codes of practice for well integrity and well decommissioning, development of wastewater management frameworks, the requirement for gas companies to obtain a water license;

    • Strict new requirements that must be met before production can take place including the development of robust and transparent monitoring strategies, discussions with industry and pastoralists regarding land access requirements and compensation, and release of all environmental management plans for public comment;

    • Broad standing to seek judicial and merits review of statutory decisions;

    • Broad new powers to sanction non-compliance, civil enforcement proceedings and increased criminal penalties for environmental harm.

    An independent officer will be appointed to oversight the implementation of all 135 recommendations.

    “We understand that many Territorians are concerned about increased greenhouse gas emissions from fracking and as recommended by the inquiry, I have written to the Prime Minister and the Federal Leader of the Opposition seeking their agreement to partner with us in offsetting all additional emissions,” Mr Gunner said

    “In addition, this Government will soon be seeking comment on draft Climate Change and Environmental Offset policies which we want to finalise before the end of the 2018.”

    “These reforms will require significant additional resources and we have approved $5.33 million over three years to implement the 135 recommendations. This will ensure that our unique environment is protected while much needed new jobs are created – particularly in remote and regional parts of the Territory.

    “In line with the recommendations of the report, the Government will be ensuring industry pays its fair share through an appropriate cost recovery model.

    “I understand that many Territorians feel passionately about fracking and were hoping for a different announcement today.

    “I want to assure all Territorians that we will faithfully implement all the recommendations of the report and I encourage those who are passionate about protecting our precious natural environment to stay engaged through this process of reform,” Mr Gunner said.

    Work on a detailed implementation plan for the 135 recommendations of the Final Report will begin immediately and be completed and released to the public in July this year.

    As part of the ongoing implementation a community and industry reference group will be created to ensure Territorians continue to have a formal voice in the process.

    Further information on the Government’s response to the Final Report of the Inquiry and fact sheets can be found at hydraulicfracturing.nt.gov.au

    Media Contact: Cameron Angus 0404 021 192


  • 13 Apr 2018 11:47 AM | Sonia Harvey (Administrator)

    APPEA welcomed comments today from the Minister for Energy and the Environment, Josh Frydenberg, confirming the importance of a pragmatic, bipartisan approach to energy policy.

    “APPEA strongly supports co-ordinated action by all governments to provide long-term policy certainty to the energy market.  Politicians across the spectrum need to put aside entrenched positions to agree a practical way forward so investors can return to the market,” said APPEA Chief Executive Dr Malcolm Roberts.

    “The National Energy Guarantee offers an opportunity to cut emissions without jeopardizing reliable supply.  This is a tough balancing act but Australian customers need both cleaner energy and reliable energy.

    “APPEA strongly supports the Minister’s call for State governments to address the pressure on gas supply and prices by lifting their restrictions on developing local gas reserves.  Gas is pivotal to ensuring energy security, its on-call supply an ideal complement to intermittent renewable sources.

    “Gas will also contribute to lowering emissions from the generation sector.

    “The meeting of energy Ministers later this month is an opportunity which should be seized by all governments to end the division and confusion around energy policy.”

    Source: APPEA

  • 12 Apr 2018 2:30 PM | Sonia Harvey (Administrator)

    Leading the way with organisation name change to reflect industry trends and innovation

    Petroleum Club NT, an industry networking organisation previously focused on oil and gas businesses, has formally changed its name to Energy Club NT as voted by a meeting of members on 28 February 2018.

    The change will open the remit for the organisation to add alternative energy to the mix and continue to focus on delivering a premium networking platform for the various sub-sectors in the energy industry and provide education and information sharing opportunities for businesses with an interest in the Northern Territory.

    “Hydrocarbons will continue to play an important role in energy production, but the industry has showed a significant trend in adding alternative energy sources to the mix. The advantage of integrating new technologies will also have a positive effect on reducing carbon emissions, costs and creating new and unprecedented opportunities.” said Ms Harvey, Chief Executive Officer of Energy Club NT.

    “There is a clear movement in the industry for collaboration across the energy sub-sectors which will continue to become more prevalent as we move towards our energy future.” said Ms Harvey.

    “Renewables and oil and gas projects can coexist and provide innovative solutions across the industry. The expansion for Energy Club NT also aligns with the Norther Territory Government’s 50% Renewable Energy target by 2030 opening opportunities for investment and business growth in the region.” Ms Harvey went on to say.

    “We remain committed to delivering our services to the oil and gas sector and look forward to welcoming new members from alternative sub-sectors to our organisation.” she said.

    The incorporation change has been approved to take effect from 28 March 2018.

    Petroleum Club NT was established in 2015 and has been very successful engaging membership across a diverse demographic of stakeholders and businesses in the oil and gas industry. The organisation will continue to provide opportunities for networking, education and information sharing for the industry in Northern Territory bringing businesses together to support a sustainable energy future.

    Download a copy of the media release here.

  • 10 Apr 2018 1:35 PM | Sonia Harvey (Administrator)

    Australian Energy Week is set to be the most important event in 2018 for all stakeholders in the future of the energy industry, from generation right through to end use.

    Australian Energy Week is the annual meeting place for stakeholders of all levels from the entire energy supply chain. From CEOs to new graduates, energy traders to engineers. And everyone in between.

    It’s where you can network with over 500 of your peers and hear from more industry leaders than any other event, representing every corner of the market.

    You can choose from 6 different content streams, 4 in-depth learning sessions as well as all-new technical roundtables. So no matter what your role or interest in the sector, Energy Week will be relevant to you.

    http://www.energyweek.com.au/


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