FEDERAL Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan told the South East Asia Australia Offshore and Onshore Conference yesterday, that the federal government will support the development of a manufacturing hub in Darwin and that the key to a flourishing industry lies in the Beetaloo Sub-basin.
Speaking at the conference, the minister noted that the government had learned from mistakes from the past - namely the lack of a gas reservation policy in Queensland over the last decade which has seen gas produced for export and little left for the domestic market.
Canavan told conference-goers that the government was keen to establish a national gas reservation scheme to ensure gas produced from the Beetaloo would support the manufacturing industry and domestic market.
"We are determined not to repeat the mistakes that we made in Queensland, in the Northern Territory," he said.
"Almost a decade ago now when the Queensland coal seam gas fields were being developed, no one was in charge of looking at what their development would mean for the domestic gas market.
"We shouldn't make the same mistakes twice though. That is why the government has announced that we will consult on the design of a national gas reservation scheme.
The suggestion of a gas reservation policy for the NT comes around 12 months after Santos chief Kevin Gallagher urged a rethink on reservation for the top end.
"The Northern Territory and the Beetaloo Basin are obvious candidates to benefit from such a scheme," Canavan said.
Canavan also used his speech to reaffirm the government's commitment to support the Northern Territory to develop its "world class" oil and gas resources, which he said would lead to the establishment of a massive industrial hub in the state.
Earlier this week chemical manufacturer Coogee announced it would build a $500 million methanol plant in Darwin which would require 40 terajoules of gas per day.
Source: Energy News Bulletin
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