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Northern Territory

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  • 07 Mar 2019 9:55 AM | Sonia Harvey (Administrator)

    Minister Paul Kirby

    Applications are open for the latest round of collaborative grants for exploration drilling and geophysics in the Northern Territory, an NT Government initiative which will help to create jobs and provide economic benefits.

    The Geophysics and Drilling Collaborations program provides collaborative funding of 50 per cent for up to $125,000 per project of the total costs for drilling and geophysical programs by industry. The projects must be in areas of the NT where there is a lack of geological information.

    The collaborative grants program is part of the Northern Territory Government’s $26 million Resourcing the Territory initiative, which includes geoscience and industry stimulus programs to maximise resources exploration in the NT.

    With an aim to address gaps in the critical understanding of the geology of the NT, the collaborative grants program will encourage projects that may open up new areas for exploration and ensure the data is made available to the wider exploration community.

    Now up to its 12th round of collaborative grants, 2018 saw a record number of applicants received for the program, with 15 projects from 12 different companies potentially receiving more than $1 million in funding.

    The Geophysics and Drilling Collaboration project funding is for programs to be undertaken during 2019, and applications will close on 15 April 2019. Guidelines and assessment criteria can be found at www.minerals.nt.gov.au/collaborations.

    Quotes from Minister for Primary Industry and Resources, Paul Kirby:

    “The Territory Labor Government’s number one priority is jobs.

     “Initiatives like this increase the Territory’s profile as a resources investment destination and will bring in investment and exploration expenditure.

    “Research shows the economic return on programs like this is ten times more than what the NT Government spends on the initiatives themselves.”

    Media Contact: Carl Pfeiffer 0417 910 720


  • 01 Mar 2019 4:52 PM | Sonia Harvey (Administrator)

    Regulatory Reform of Petroleum Activities

    Regulatory reform of the onshore gas industry reached an important milestone on Wednesday (27 February 2019) with the Minister for Environment and Natural Resources (the Minister) assuming responsibility for environmental regulation of the onshore petroleum industry. 

    This recent change to the Administrative Arrangement Order, has occurred in accordance with Recommendation 14.34 of the Final Report:


     

    That prior to the grant of any further exploration approvals, in order to ensure independence and accountability, there must be a clear separation between the agency with responsibility for regulating the environmental impacts and risks associated with any onshore shale gas industry and the agency responsible for promoting that industry.

     

    With this change, the Minister now holds responsibility for approval of and compliance with Environment Management Plans (EMPs), the primary environmental approval for petroleum activities under the Petroleum (Environment) Regulations 2016, and the environmental harm offences within Part V Division 2 of the Petroleum Act 1984.

    Government remains committed to implementing all 135 recommendations in the Final Report from the Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing in the Northern Territory and this separation of responsibilities delivers on a key recommendation of the Final Report.

    Petroleum companies with granted petroleum interests (such as Exploration Permits or Production Licences) are required to submit an EMP for assessment and the Minister must approve the EMP before any regulated activities can occur. Regulated activities are defined in the Petroleum (Environment) Regulations 2016 as activities which have an environmental impact or environmental risk and include seismic surveys, drilling of wells and hydraulic fracturing.

    The Minister for Primary Industry and Resources will continue to hold responsibility for all tenure related matters under the Petroleum Act 1984, petroleum resource management and operational approvals including well operations.

    Having a clear separation between the Minister promoting the Industry and the Minister responsible for regulating environmental impacts of the Industry will ensure the Territory has a robust and transparent regulatory framework that enables the onshore gas industry to develop in a manner that protects the environment and provides certainty to industry and the community.

    Since October 2018, a number of Legislative and administrative changes have been progressed, including;

     
    • Water Legislation Amendment Bill 2018 passed through the parliament that will ensure that the requirement for water licensing and permits to access water resources will apply to mining and petroleum activities; along with updating offences and penalties (recommendation 7.1);
    • Passing of the Environment Protection Authority Amendment Bill 2018, providing the Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority (NTEPA) additional members with specialist skills and experience in the assessment and management of the environmental impacts of onshore gas development, positioned to deliver independent expert advice to the Minister for Environment to inform decision making (Recommendation 14.34);
    • Introduction of the Petroleum Legislation Amendment Bill 2018 to the Legislative Assembly in November 2018, with proposed amendments to ensure petroleum companies, as applicants, are ‘fit and proper’ to hold exploration permits or production licences (Recommendation 14.12); providing provisions for open standing for judicial review for decisions made under the Petroleum Act 1984 and Petroleum (Environment) Regulations 2016 (Recommendation 14.23); and ability to ensure codes of practice that are established are enforceable by law and that companies can be penalised if they do not abide by them (recommendation 5.1); The Scrutiny Committee report is due 12 March 2019; and
    • The amendments to Petroleum (Environment) Regulations 2016 ensure that all draft Environment Management Plans for the drilling of petroleum wells and hydraulic fracturing activities, must be published in print and online and available for public comment prior to Ministerial approval, and that all comments made on draft Environment Management Plans must be published online (recommendation 14.15); that cumulative impacts are given consideration (recommendation 14.19); that all notices and reports of environmental incidents and reportable incidents are published online (recommendation 14.16); and that hydraulic fracturing fluids proposed to be used are disclosed and published and flowback and produced water composition must be reported and published (recommendation 7.10).
     
    Territorians will now have the opportunity to comment on Environment Management Plans for drilling of petroleum wells and hydraulic fracturing before they are considered by Government. The Minister will be bound by law to consider the comments before making a decision to approve or refuse the Environment Management Plan.

    An Environment Management Plan will only be approved if the Minister for Environment and Natural Resources is satisfied that certain approval criteria have been met.  Click here to access the fact sheet about Environment Management Plans.

    To read more about the legislative changes that have been progressed to date, please visit 
    Community Bulletins
    To access the Administrative Arrangements Order, please click here
    To read the latest from the NTG Newsroom, please visit NTG Newsroom

    To read the Implementation Plan or access additional information regarding the progress of implementation, please visit hydraulicfracturing.nt.gov.au

    To read the Inquiry report and recommendations, please visit frackinginquiry.nt.gov.au

    Contact the Hydraulic Fracturing Inquiry Implementation Taskforce at hydraulic.fracturing@nt.gov.au


  • 28 Feb 2019 5:53 PM | Sonia Harvey (Administrator)

    REMOTE power specialist Zenith Energy has secured $40 million in additional corporate debt facilties two days after releasing half-year results that showed growth from its move from engineering, procurement, construction specialist to a build, own, operate model. 

    The money will be used on capital expenditure on new and existing projects, with some left over for acquisitions and general corporate spend.  

    The company has been able to gain an overall reduction in associated funding costs as well as the extend the debt maturity date.  

    Yesterday the company announced it had received certification of full diesel completion after satisfying diesel performance testing requirements at the 62 megawatt power station it built for Newmont Mining's; Tanami gold mine.  

    It will now begin commissioning the Wartsila gas generation capacity before testing the full completion performance testing in the weeks to follow.  

    Meanwhile during its half year results of Tuesday it reported 61% growth in BOO megawatt  growth over the previous corresponding period, a 53% growth in BOO revenue compared to the last period, 123% growth in BOO EBITDA, and 19% growth in total megawatts under control from 395MW to 428MW over the period.  

    Group net profit after tax was down $4.8 million compared with the previous period thanks to what Zenith calls a "refocus on growing BOO operations".  

     PP&E increased from $76 million in the second half of financial 2018 to $114 million in the first half of this financial year and inventory increased fro $700,000 to $12 million 

    Source: Energy News Bulletin

    Read more here.


  • 22 Feb 2019 5:50 PM | Sonia Harvey (Administrator)

    SANTOS yesterday released its climate change report for 2019, the same day it released its full year 2018 financial report, and put its case for a low carbon future with a focus on gas and a goal of becoming completely emissions free by 2050. This is the company’s second climate change report.

    The company's vision is to be Australia's leading onshore gas company by 2025 and grow its gas portfolio "safely and sustainably, in partnership with communities," and in tandem play a leading role in the reducing global emissions.  

    Santos said its strategy is economically resilient under all of the International Energy Agency's Energy Technology Perspectives 2017 scenarios.  

    "Our climate change policy fits with both our vision to be Australia's leading onshore natural gas company by 2050, and with our purpose to provide sustainable returns for shareholders by supplying reliable, affordable, clean natural gas to improve the lives of people in Australia and Asia," Santos managing director and CEO Kevin Gallagher said.  

    The report outlines the company's three medium-term carbon targets, which it expects will be achieved by 2025, centring on the role of gas in reducing emissions.  

    "The three targets look to reduce emissions from our operated activities and work on step-change technologies with the potential to provide significant carbon offset opportunities."  

    Target one is the ‘Reduction of global emissions through LNG export growth' and will see the company grow LNG gas exports to at least 4.5 million tonnes per annum by 2025 to "contribute to the growing demand for clean gas" and will displace the equivalent of 15% of Australia's total cumulative coal emission reduction target over the next five years.  

    The company said that overall, Australian LNG exports could reduce global emissions by up to 300 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year three times that of Australia's annual emission reduction target under the Paris Agreement.  

    Target two will be to economically reduce emissions from the company's base operations by more than 5% across existing sites in the Cooper Basin and Queensland.  

    This equates to approximately 400,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per annum. 

    Source: Energy News Bulletin

    Read more here.



  • 22 Feb 2019 9:31 AM | Sonia Harvey (Administrator)

    THE last down turn in onshore drilling work at the start of last year saw rig contractors park their fleets until the market bounced back, but now that it inevitably has explorers are cautious that a lack of experienced hands could be having a negative impact.

    Received wisdom suggests rig demand is outstripping supply but it could be the people who operate them that are missing.  

    Speaking during a half-year results conference call Tuesday Senex Energy CEO Ian Davies said that the view that rig availability is tight was not an issue facing the sector. 

    "I think it is something that is a little opaque in the market. We're out for tender as we speak for rig lines and well services. We understand exactly which rigs are available and it's a fallacy that there are no rigs available.  

    "There are plenty of rigs, it is just lining up the actual rigs with the work program and timing. And we've got that well in hand.  

    He said experienced rig crews were few and far between, something that came down to the low oil price in recent years which saw experienced hands leave the industry for good.  

    "I think [that it is] important to get the good rig hands and the good operators back into the industry because the last time there was a down turn in the industry we lost a lot of people - and they were lost permanently - so you think rig hands in particular the crews that operate the rigs we had a permanent drain across the industry the last downturn.  

    "We're seeing some of them come back, and I think one of the things to note when people talk about a lack of rigs, its generally a lack of rig crews that has actually been the issue more than anything else," Davies said.  

    He also welcomed recent wage growth, something he touched on in the recently released quarterly results also.  

     "We are seeing wage inflation across the industry [which] I actually see as a positive because the industry was zero to negative wage growth over the past few years," Davies said.  

    "In terms of cost inflation, the fact that we're out to tender will bear the results of any cost inflation out. But what we're not seeing material cost inflation across the board," Davies said.  

    While rig availability is not an issue facing Senex, Davies did make the observation Longer term contracts like the one Senex currently has out for tender has the potential to encourage people to return to industry, something the company says is already having an effect.  

    A Senex spokesperson told Energy News today that while drilling companies lost people over the past few years, they retained enough experienced professionals and are continually developing their workforce.  


  • 21 Feb 2019 10:06 AM | Sonia Harvey (Administrator)

    Perth will again host the region’s biggest annual outlook event for the oil and gas sector in March at the 38th Australasian Oil and Gas (AOG) Exhibition & Conference.

    The three-day Exhibition and Conference will cover a range of topics centred around the theme ‘An Energy Shift’, highlighting changing trends in the industry such as the rising confidence of the oil and gas market; effective transitioning of projects from construction to operations and maintenance; new uses for liquefied natural gas (LNG); and new energy.

    The conference program includes updates and insights from Woodside Energy, Chevron Australia, NERA, Deloitte and Scottish Development International and the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation.

    “The industry has had a tough few years; however, a recovery in global oil prices, Australia’s world dominance of LNG exports and a resurgence in investment in the sector have set the scene for a vibrant program across all three forums,” said AOG Event Director Bill Hare.

    The vast AOG exhibition space will showcase more than 250 companies and provides a unique opportunity for policymakers, operators and service providers to meet, network and debate the future roles for natural gas and oil. Mr Hare said for the first time in 2019, AOG would emphasise a targeted focus on drilling and completions featuring both technical presentations and a dedicated exhibition zone.

    “This exciting space has been added due to interest from past visitors and will feature the latest products, technology and services in drilling and well completion from Halliburton and the Society of Petroleum Engineers to name a few,” continued Mr Hare.

    The AOG Exhibition & Conference – which is supported by Federal and WA State Government, the City of Perth and the local oil and gas industry – is considered one of the leading events on the global oil and gas calendar.

    “Last year the conference and exhibition attracted more than 8,000 oil and gas leaders, policymakers, experts, innovators and educators from 45 countries – including official delegations from Norway, Scotland, Belgium, Malaysia, Poland and the UK. We are expecting to again host many delegations from leading global oil and gas producing regions in 2019, and this provides a unique opportunity to liaise with these influential decision-makers.

    AOG 2019 will run between 13 -15 March at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre and is free of charge. For more details, visit the AOG website or register for a free AOG visitor pass, here


  • 21 Feb 2019 7:54 AM | Sonia Harvey (Administrator)

    VALMEC reported revenue of $47.7 million for the half-year ending December with EBITDA of $3.2 million and says it has a strong order book heading into the second half of the financial year and then into 2020.

    It expects total financial 2019 earnings to be higher than the previous year.  

    Valmec qualified its results however, saying, "whilst strong is reflective of the delayed start to construction activity across Valmec's energy clients.  

    "A significant increase in construction activity is expected in the second half if he year, underpinned by over $40 million of new contracts secured since December 2018, including the recent award of the Jemena Atlas gas pipeline project," it said.  

    The Atlas project will be worth $22.1 million, renewal of long term services contracts with Origin Energy's Australia Pacific LNG export consortium is worth $15 million, and APTS testing and inspection services on the Tanami gas pipeline for MPC Kinetic was worth $4.7 million.  

    Australia Gas Infrastructure Group announced the pipeline went into operation yesterday.  

    Revenue from the energy construction segment was $23.1 million, while services was up over 43% from the previous corresponding period at $24.4 million.  

    It has an order book of over $80 million with the company suggesting a "robust tender pipeline across new and existing clients". 

    Managing director Steve Dropulich said that "with operating conditions within energy and infrastructure markets continuing to strengthen Valmec has been able to grow its longer term order book and tender pipeline". 


  • 19 Feb 2019 11:12 AM | Sonia Harvey (Administrator)

    To celebrate the United Nation’s 4th International Day of Women and Girls in Science Brighter hosted a roundtable discussion with experts to discuss what can be done to further encourage young girls and women into STEM careers.

    Strong role models, mentors and consistent exposure to science from an early age are just some of the ways we can encourage young girls into STEM jobs, according to women who are trailblazers in their own respective careers.

    To recognise the United Nation’s International Day of Women and Girls and Science, the Brighter program hosted a roundtable discussion with women who are at different points in their STEM careers – some studying, some leaders and emerging leaders, some already retired.

    Moderated by Director – Communications for the Brighter program, Sarah Browne, the discussion was centred on the initiatives already in place to promote STEM among women and young girls, and what else can be done to further encourage them to pick a STEM career.

    Verity Blackman, board member for the UN Women National Committee Australia spoke to the group about the importance of role models and working with children, right around the world, to provide them with opportunities to try new things.

    “You can’t be what you can’t see – this is why role models are critical for  young people.”

    Sue Barrell, vice president of Science Technology Australia, and former Chief Scientist for the Bureau of Meteorology said:

    “We need to get everyone – boys and girls – on a level playing field when it comes to STEM and build their confidence.”

    Sarah Browne said: “It was a fantastic opportunity to get these women, from different backgrounds and experiences, to share their story.”

    “What was apparent is that everyone around the table agreed on the same thing – young children, and young girls in particular, need a consistent and strong support network to introduce them to the big, interesting world of science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” she said.

    “This should start from an early age so young girls go on to finish high school, they are confident to pick an engineering degree at university or go on to study their STEM-based PhD without fear of being overlooked or dismissed because of gender.”




  • 18 Feb 2019 11:16 AM | Sonia Harvey (Administrator)

    The DLNG team has taken innovation to a new level, trialling 3D visualisation technology ‘Virtual DLNG’ which will revolutionise Perth-Darwin collaboration.

    Read more here.

    State of the art photographic scanning was recently completed at DLNG creating a google-maps-style simulated walkthrough of the plant. This software will allow designers and engineers to virtually ‘visit’ DLNG at any time, enabling unprecedented facility access.

    The idea was born when Reza Dashti, Project Engineer, created a 3D tour for his rental property to help conduct inspections. When sharing this with his colleagues, they commented “we need this for DLNG!” and the idea was born. Innovation can stem from something as simple as a chat between workmates.

    Collaboration in action – Perth and Darwin staff using Virtual DLNG

    A collaboration room at the Integrated Operations Support Centre in Perth has been set up with a 360 degree camera, allowing multi-site meetings to run as though everyone is in the same room. Virtual DLNG enables immediate access for engineers and designers across locations to view plant equipment in a matter of minutes, improving efficiency in the inspection and decision making process. Furthermore, this creates cost saving benefits, decreases HSE risk to personnel, while optimising site visit requirements.

    The software has embedded ‘tagging’ functionality allowing for equipment, scopes of work, engineering documents and even videos to be interactively tagged into the ‘virtual tour.’ Examples include hyperlinks to controlled documents (e.g. SAP), an embedded time-lapse video showing how to safely change out a turbine or filter, or even access to view a past scaffold build.

    Virtual DLNG visualisation

    Although the 3D visualisation was initially produced for the team working on DLNG backfill, there is limitless potential for innovative process improvements within other functions of the Business Unit. From providing a Perth-based accountant an understanding of the facility they support, to enhancing site inductions for shutdown crews, Virtual DLNG is the future of ABU-West. The Backfill team are also continually looking for more ways to create value with the tool, including using it to create a true One Team project with the Engineering, Procurement and Construction contractors.

    Members from the Timor-Leste process team travelled to Perth to help tag the scopes of work within the visualisation. Their assistance will help finalise Virtual DLNG as a tool for internal and external stakeholders to fully understand the scopes and associated physical constraints.


  • 18 Feb 2019 10:22 AM | Sonia Harvey (Administrator)

    THE move comes as the Morrison government decides to scuttle its ‘big stick’ energy plan until after an election but it’s good news for explorers as the minister for resources underlines how much energy exports to a growing Asia add to the economy. 

    It outlines how the government aims to support develop new resources and markets, support jobs, attract investment into the wider Australian resources sector and "share the benefits of success with more regional communities". 

    Rural and regional communities have increasingly become flashpoints over concerns about the impact of large resources projects, particularly new unconventional oil and gas fields, and coal mines, on the water table. 

    "There is a bright future for the resources sector given the economic growth occurring in our region," Canavan said. 

    "By 2030, Asia will produce more than half the world's economic output, consume 40% of its energy and be home to a middle class of almost 3.5 billion people.  

    "Given this growth, and if Australia can maintain its global share of commodity production, at least 24,000 new direct mining jobs could be created, along with the broader prosperity those jobs will bring." 

    The Australian parliament has three days left to pass legislation before it will be dissolved ahead of the budget and a general election, likely in mid-May, when the Coalition, which has burnt through two prime ministers, faces an electoral drubbing if polls are accurate. 

    In the remaining sitting days the delivery of the national resources statement, a promised goal of the government's Resources 2030 Taskforce, is unlikely to receive much attention from MPs, with the government keen to focus on boarder security, encryption laws and superannuation 

    Other legislative items such as a resources and energy policy issues and banking reforms are being sidelined on the parliamentary agenda. 

    Despite that, Canavan has promised to start work immediately by progressing some elements of the statement in collaboration with the states and territories through apparatuses such as the Council of Australian Governments Energy Council. 

    He also has plans for his favourite prospective region, the Northern Territory's Beetaloo Basin, saying the plan would support "the development of new resource basins through cooperation with state and territory jurisdictions, like our Memorandum of Understanding with the Northern Territory on the development of the Beetaloo Basin. 

    "This includes an agreement to establish a new critical minerals work program to boost exploration, develop a data strategy to de-risk investment decisions, and build community confidence in the sector," he said. 

    Speaking this morning, Canavan said the government would look to promote a national resources brand for Australia, continue its investment in pre-competitive data such as seismic and aero-magnetic surveys.

    Source: Energy News Bulletin

    Read more here.


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