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Northern Territory

News

  • 11 Aug 2020 2:54 PM | Sonia Harvey (Administrator)
    The Strategic Regional and Environmental Baseline Assessment (SREBA)

    The final Framework for Strategic Regional and Environmental Baseline Assessment (SREBA) has now been released and is publicly available 

    The SREBA Framework describes the objectives and contents of a SREBA, including governance and implementation arrangements.

    The Framework presents the technical guidance notes for each of the six domains identified in the Hydraulic Fracturing Inquiry (HFI) report.

    These domains are

    • Water quality and quantity studies
    • Aquatic ecosystems studies
    • Terrestrial ecoystems studies
    • Greenhouse gas emissions studies
    • Environmental health studies
    • Social, cultural and economic studies, including a Strategic Regional Assessment
    Feedback on the draft SREBA Framework was received from 30 organisations or individuals, with comments incorporated into the final Framework. This is described in the consultation report available on the website.

    The Northern Territory Government has determined that a SREBA is required for the Beetaloo sub-Basin, before production approvals for onshore gas activities can be considered. Scopes of work for each domain of this SREBA are currently being drafted, coordinated by DENR and with input from independent subject matter experts.

    These scopes will be submitted to the Minister for Environment and Natural Resources for approval as they are finalised.


  • 30 Jul 2020 12:33 PM | Sonia Harvey (Administrator)

    AUSTRALIAN onshore oil and gas producer and explorer Armour Energy has made several appointments to its management team as it embarks on a new era of expansion.

    In May, the ASX-listed company brought Brad Lingo in as its chief executive, following an acquisition of fellow Australian explorer Oilex's Cooper Basin assets. 

    The acquisition saw Armour acquire Oilex subsidiary CoEra which holds a 79.33% direct interest in two permits, PEL 112 and PEL 444, with an option to take the remaining 20.66% from a trio of North American companies. 

    It also acquired the rights to 27 retention leases covering 2445 square kilometres in the Northern Fairway from Senex Energy. 

    CEO Brad Lingo's plan is to progress Armour's exploration assets in Queensland and the Northern Territory, while also increasing reserves and resources at its operational Kincora gas project in Queensland.

    To help him accomplish this, a new executive leadership team has been appointed to lead the company. 

    Former Santos executive, Michael Laurent, who managed the gas giant's Cooper Basin appraisal and field optimisation activities joins Armour as chief operating officer. 

    Laurent's key focus will be on an upcoming work program involving fraccing of newly acquired and old wells in Armour's portfolio. 

    Erin Clark a well-known consultant in the Queensland and chair of the Advisory Board Centre has been brought on as interim chief financial officer. 

    The third appointment announced today is that of Neil McDonald, who has been with Armour for several years in the role of corporate affairs. McDonald will now take on a new position as general manager of commercial operations. 

    McDonald's remit will be to engage domestic and international investors and develop business strategies for  development of Armour's acreage. This includes creating new commercial agreements with other oil and gas companies and developing relationships with stakeholders, while ensuring the company remains within its regulatory compliance requirements. 

    The three appointments come just days after Armour announced it would work with Santos to accelerate exploration and development of six permits in the Northern Territory and Queensland. 

    Source: Energy News Bulletin

  • 28 Jul 2020 12:27 PM | Sonia Harvey (Administrator)

    MACQUARIE’s global head of green investment Mark Dooley has highlighted the special role oil and gas majors will play in driving development and investment in emerging technologies such as hydrogen and CCS, while the renewables market will continue to surge to new heights in the coming decade.

    Speaking at the Clean Energy Council's summit this afternoon, Dooley noted the sheer amount of capital required for the energy transition to be successful, with the world needing to install 1.6 times its existing generation capacity by 2050. 

    This amounts to US$300 billion of investment per year, every year, for 30 years. 

    While the numbers are mind boggling, he noted Australia's investment capacity will meet the challenge, pointing to the country's superannuation fund capital expected to reach A$10.5 trillion by 2040. 

    He also highlighted the significant rise in investment globally - US$20.6 billion of new capital invested in sustainability themed funds in 2019 and US$109 billion of capital raised by infrastructure funds, compared to US$67 billion in 2015. 

    "While there's been a phenomenal amount of investment, this is just the beginning," Dooley said. 

    He noted governmental subsidy interventions in maturing renewable technologies was rapidly falling away and that attention needed to shift to emerging technologies such as hydrogen and CCS.

    "The big players in oil and gas have a special role to play, as they have legacy expertise in relevant technologies and the industrial capabilities," he said. 

    Dooley highlighted the oil and gas industry has the ability to exploit undersea caverns for CCS and noted hydrogen would be relevant to gas company's legacy assets.  

    "We are seeing CCS and hydrogen changing gears, both were talked about a lot last decade but not much happened, that's changing now."

    Source: Energy News Bulletin


  • 27 Jul 2020 12:31 PM | Sonia Harvey (Administrator)

    AUSTRALIAN oil and gas giant Santos will accelerate its efforts to explore and develop six permits in the Northern Territory and Queensland, amending a farm-in agreement with its smaller joint venture partner Armour Energy, now helmed by Brad Lingo.

    On Monday, Armour Energy told its shareholders that Santos, which is farming into the permits for a 70% stake, would pay the company a one-off cash payment of A$6 million, and carry the junior for nearly $65 million of exploration costs. 

    The farm-in was originally signed in December last year, but the update to the contract today aims to speed up exploration and development. 

    All six of the permits are located in the South Nicholson Basin, four of which are located in northern Queensland, and two in the eastern region of the Northern Territory. 

    Combined, the permits hold a gross 10.7 million acres. Armour's independent experts have assessed 22.1 trillion cubic feet of best prospect gas resources in the middle of the Proterozoic aged Lawn Hill and Riversleigh Shale formations within one permit alone.

    Only one permit, ATP1087, has been granted. The other five permits are still considered application areas and are yet to be awarded to the joint venture. 

    Originally Santos made a $15 million payment to Armour for its 70% interest in the ATP1087 permit and was to pay a further $15 million for a 70% stake in all five other permits, once they were approved.  

    Instead Santos has the $6 million one-off payment on top of the $15 million. 

    While Armour will be the titleholder of the permits, Santos will take operatorship and responsibility for work programs and native title negotiations. 

    Armour is expected to pay around $750,000 per annum in exploration and development costs per year, once the venture begins work. 

    Armour chief executive Brad Lingo said he was pleased with the progress of the farm-in agreement which "significantly de-risk and advanced" the progress of work programs. 

    Source: Energy News Bulletin


  • 27 Jul 2020 12:30 PM | Sonia Harvey (Administrator)

    ONE of the major contractors which worked on the massive Ichthys LNG project in Northern Australia, has lost its appeal in the Supreme Court worth around A$2.5 billion.

    Legal fights have consumed contractors, subcontractors and Ichthys operator Inpex, for years. The case before the court this month was just the latest in ongoing cases between the main contractor and its subcontractors. 

    JKC had hoped to overturn an earlier decision over subcontractor obligations relating to a combined cycle power plant which provided electricity to the Ichthys LNG processing facility. 

    It hoped to claw back $2.5 billion in costs and damages, however, has now officially had its case dismissed, after the Court found each of its grounds for appeal failed. 

    Japan's Inpex engaged JKC Australia LNG in 2012 to engineer, procure and construct and commission the Ichthys onshore LNG production facility. The project was worth in the region of US$47 billion. 

    JKC in turn subcontracted CH2M, UGL Infrastructure, General Electric for work on a combined cycle power plant to provide electricity to the processing facility. 

    The contract was terminated in 2017, after the subcontractors pulled its workers offsite after a stoush broke out over significant time delays and cost overruns reaching billions of dollars. 

    JKC then engaged replacement subcontractors to complete the power plant. It then took its former subcontractors to court over the termination claiming costs of replacing subcontractors. 

    At the same time, the former consortium of subcontractors claimed costs for the work they had already completed. 

    The contractual disputes between UGL, CH2M, GE, and JKC have taken around three and a half years to come to close.

    At the heart of this particular case, was the interpretation of a commercial contract, and parent company liabilities. 

    The subcontractors, through a consortium or joint venture agreement, were obliged to conduct their work which was guaranteed by what are known as parent company guarantees. 

    JKC argued that the Parent Company Guarantees should be treated as 'pay now, argue later' instruments, similar to bank guarantees.

    The subcontractors argued that any obligation under the Parent Company Guarantees depended on establishing actual liability under the subcontract.

    The Court of Appeal dismissed all three of JKC's reasons for appeal.

    Source: Energy News Bulletin


  • 24 Jul 2020 12:36 PM | Sonia Harvey (Administrator)

    CENTRAL Petroleum has announced a 16% upgrade to its 2P reserves across its three producing fields in the Northern Territory to a total of 162.2 petajoule-equivalent, with plans to develop new low cost supply via a series of lateral wells. 

    Netherland Sewell & Associates have independently verified the upgrade. 

    Central said today the rise was driven by the performance of its Palm Valley-13 well, online since May last year.  

    It confirmed today a 2C contingent gas resource of 105PJ which it believes could be unlocked by a proposed Stairway appraisal program at its Mereenie field and further infill wells at Palm Valley. It shares Mereenie with fertiliser maker Incitec Pivot.   

    The company is planning to implement a new strategy to appraise its production from the Stairway Sandstone at its Mereenie field. Subject to joint venture approval  it will use lateral drilling from existing wells at locations that had prior observed gas shows while drilling through the stairway. 

    It says the appraisal work will target a new material gas resource which could "significantly" increase the gas produced from the Mereenie field with minimal investment in existing production facilities  

    At Palm Valley its PV-13 horizontal well in the Pacoota Sandstone "continues to show excellent performance, with more than 2.6PJ recovered over 13 months". The well recently only came off a  7 terajoule day plateau limited only by wellhead facilities. 

    The company is now seeking to capitalise on the PV13 success via drilling future laterals from existing wells to access poorly connected parts of the reservoir.  

    Source: Energy News Bulletin

  • 21 Jul 2020 12:37 PM | Sonia Harvey (Administrator)

    TIMOR Resources said today it hoped its long delayed south coast drill campaign will begin in the fourth quarter once it receives its Environmental Approval to drill. 

    These will be the first onshore wells drilled in five decades in Timor-Leste.  

    Mining and petroleum body the ANPM will issue the approval under the new onshore oil and gas regulations in the coming weeks. Dili finally enacted its long awaited onshore petroleum laws in late May.  

    The law had been pending promulgation since February last year in the small, politically tumultuous nation and is crucial not just for Timor Resources but for the on- and-offshore bidding round currently underway.  

    The 12-month round was due to end in October but has been extended another year given market conditions.  

    It is only Timor-Leste's second block auction and offers 11 offshore and seven onshore blocks, with several onshore blocks in the undrilled frontier areas of the north.   

    "Drilling plans have unfortunately been delayed due to COVID 19 and the obstacles created by the pandemic, travel restrictions and supply chain disruption," it said today. 

    Energy News reported in May drill plans had been pushed back and then, the company hoped for a June spud.  

    Timor Resources spent last year busy with a 500sq.km 2D seismic campaign in the lead up to this year's drilling campaign, which originally planned for five wells this year and, pending success, five in early 2021. The project is operated under a production sharing contract with the government.  

    Based on the 340sq.km of seismic a best-estimate resource of 342 million barrels of prospective resources was calculated by an independent third party, which Timor suggests could indicate potential for a discovery of over 20 million barrels of oil equivalent.

    Source: Energy News Bulletin

  • 20 Jul 2020 12:34 PM | Sonia Harvey (Administrator)

    THE COMMISSION set up by the Northern Territory government to find a path through the COVID-19 cras

    The Michael Gunner-led Labor government established its Territory Economic Reconstruction Commission in May, and two and half months on, the commission has provided its first report - a path forward to growing the top end's economy in the medium term. 

    While the commission, which is chaired by former Dow Chemical chief Andrew Liveris, considered a variety of industries, from manufacturing to tourism, it's clear from the report that the commission is betting heavily on oil and gas exploration and development. 

    Gas from the Beetaloo featured as a keystone to economic recovery and security, in the face of what is quickly becoming one of Australia's worst financial situations to date. 

    Today the commission warned "no state or territory will be left unscathed" by the global recession wrought by the coronavirus pandemic. 

    It also found the "highly prospective world scale onshore gas resources and proven offshore gas reserves" along with the Territory's proximity to markets in Southeast Asia, were at the heart of the region's economic recovery. 

    It urged chief minister Gunner to accelerate its efforts to secure investment in the Beetaloo Sub-basin, which is thought to hold well over 178,000 petajoules of gas according to estimates from industry on a 2C basis. 

    "The Beetaloo Sub-basin shows significant potential to provide gas and liquids for energy use and to underpin a petrochemical manufacturing industry in the Territory - driving significant economic benefit," the commission said in its report. 

    "The Commission recommends that the Territory Government, in conjunction with the Australian Government, accelerates the preliminary design and development assessments for critical enabling infrastructure to support development of the Beetaloo Sub-basin in the event commercial feasibility is proven," the report said. 

    The commission believes this gas could sure up exports to overseas customers, but also play a vital role in reinventing the territory as a manufacturing hub. 

    Excess gas could then be piped to the east coast market which is expected to suffer from severe shortfalls within the next three to five years. 

    Initially, according to the commission, offshore sources of gas would be used to create a petrochemical production industry, "then gas and liquids from the Beetaloo." 

    This first report noted while LNG exports had surged over the last 12 months, the Territory economy had shrunk 1.5% in 2018-2019, from its peak of $26.5 billion in 2017-2018. 

    "Further contraction is expected in coming months" because of the COVID-19 pandemic which has shaken international financial markets. 

    The commission also provided advice and a series of recommendations focusing on agribusiness, tourism, and critical mineral mining opportunities. 

    It also referenced the NT Renewable Hydrogen Roadmap. 

    "The renewables sector is a fast-growing sector with considerable potential for further significant growth in the Territory. To achieve that potential requires investment in enabling infrastructure," the commission said. 

    In recognising the role of a hydrogen future, the commission said the NT government needed to "urgently undertake" studies into hydrogen development from solar power sources. 

    h, is betting on the potential of its vast onshore liquids-rich gas resources as the saviour to the region’s struggling economy.

    Source: Energy News Bulletin

  • 10 Jul 2020 12:34 PM | Sonia Harvey (Administrator)

    Office Hon. Dale Wakefield

    The Territory Government has released the NT’s first ever Renewable Hydrogen Strategy to turn our natural competitive advantages into clean, permanent local jobs.

    As the international community seeks innovative ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, there is a growing demand for clean, reliable and flexible energy solutions like hydrogen.

    Hydrogen has many advantages as an energy store and carrier. It can be manufactured with zero emissions, is energy dense and can be stored and efficiently transported, and it can be converted to heat through combustion or to electricity in a fuel cell, without creating any greenhouse gas emissions.

    The Territory is well placed to position itself at the forefront of the developing renewable hydrogen industry with large areas of land with high solar irradiance, close proximity to export markets, an established world-scale energy production and export industry and a commitment to net-zero emissions by 2050.

    There is the potential for hydrogen production, export and adoption to generate significant jobs and investment in the Territory, much of which could be in regional areas and provide opportunities for Aboriginal landowners and custodians.

    The strategy outlines a five point hydrogen plan for government and industry to work together:

    • Local industry development – preparing industry capabilities, logistics and supply chains to facilitate the adoption of renewable hydrogen
    • Resource management – investigate how to optimise the Territory’s resources and infrastructure to facilitate hydrogen industry development
    • Grow and harness demand – promote the Territory as an attractive export hub and investigate domestic hydrogen applications to build demand
    • Support innovation – incorporate new ways of researching, trialling and adapting emerging technologies to optimise hydrogen opportunities
    • Responsive regulation – establish effective regulatory frameworks for the development of a safe and efficient hydrogen industry

    The Territory’s strategy complements the Australian National Hydrogen Strategy to develop a clean, innovative, safe and competitive hydrogen industry that benefits all Australians.

    The strategy can be found at https://business.nt.gov.au/hydrogen-strategy 

    Quotes from Minister for Renewables, Energy and Essential Services, Dale Wakefield

    “This Labor Government understands the enormous potential our renewable energy resources have to create permanent local jobs for Territorians.

    “We can be a leader in the world transition to renewable hydrogen and this strategy provides the vision and the plan to make it happen.

    “The strategy complements our record of delivering more renewables, taking real action on climate change, and the strongest protections for water and our environment the Territory has ever seen.

    “Only Labor has the plans and record to ensure we create local jobs and secure our unique environment for generations to come.”

     

    Media Contact: Paige Nguyen 0428 727 244
    paige.nguyen@nt.gov.au 

     


  • 09 Jul 2020 12:35 PM | Sonia Harvey (Administrator)

    Independent Oversight of Hydraulic Fracturing Implementation

    A key part of the Government’s response to the Inquiry and the Implementation Plan is building trust through transparency. The principles of engagement, transparency and accountability are guiding our approach to implementing the recommendations.

    Current mechanisms for independent oversight include:

    Independent Overseer

    A key mechanism of oversight is the Independent Overseer, Dr David Ritchie.

    The role of the Independent Overseer is to provide the Chief Minister and NT Government with independent advice on how the implementation of the recommendations from the Inquiry is progressing and being managed.

    Dr David Ritchie’s role as Independent Overseer was due to expire on 30 June 2020, an extension has been granted until 31 December 2021.

    The Onshore Shale Gas Community and Business Reference Group


    The Onshore Shale Gas Community and Business Reference Group (CBRG) provides direct feedback and advice to the Hydraulic Fracturing Inquiry Implementation, coordinated by the Department of the Chief Minister.

    The CBRG is essential to ensure stakeholders have oversight and input into the development of the implementation framework and its subsequent execution.

    The CBRG’s term was due to conclude in June 2020.

    The CBRG’s term has been extended until 31 December 2020 and continue their oversight of Stage 3 implementation.

    Other targeted oversight

    The Aboriginal Information Program Working Group has been established to guide the implementation of Recommendations 11.5 and 11.6 and includes representatives from Land Councils, Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority (AAPA) and the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA).

    The Aboriginal Information Program is being designed with CSIRO to ensure Aboriginal people and communities have access to consistent, factual, relevant and easy to understand and culturally appropriate information relating to the onshore petroleum industry.

    A Regional Reference Group will established for the Strategic Regional and Environmental Baseline Assessment (SREBA) in the Beetaloo Sub-Basin. 

    The Reference Group will comprise stakeholders who live, or have interests within the SREBA region to ensure there is appropriate local and regional engagement in baseline studies and SREBA outcomes.

    The Reference Group will provide advice on the development and implementation of the SREBA studies within the region, engagement with local stakeholders, and communication of results and outcomes to the community.

     


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