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Northern Territory

News

  • 19 May 2019 9:45 AM | Sonia Harvey (Administrator)

    The Territory’s plan to be a world-class hub for gas production, manufacturing and services will be outlined in a series of sessions aimed at the oil and gas industry and investors on the East Coast.

    Team NT Executive members Paul Tyrrell and Clare Martin will lead the pitch. Their role is to advocate the Territory’s investment, business and lifestyle prospects nationally and internationally and harness investment opportunities.

    Mr Tyrrell, as former head of the Territory’s public service, and Ms Martin, former Territory Chief Minister, are credited with playing key roles in significant initiatives such as attracting the Ichthys Project onshore LNG facilities to Darwin.

    The oil and gas industry is supported by the Territory Labor Government’s Budget 2019 which included $6.5 million to continue the $26 million Resourcing the Territory program to stimulate resource exploration and investment attraction.

     Among the points highlighted at the sessions will be:

    • The Territory’s five-point plan to diversify and grow the Northern Territory gas industry, including creating a new gas demand centre in Darwin to develop a range of gas processing and manufacturing industries, research and cluster centres.
    • Prospective onshore gas developments in the Territory and the significant opportunities for gas supply to East Coast industrial and residential customers. This comes after the first gas flowed from the Territory to East Coast gas markets via the Northern Gas Pipeline in January this year.
    • The Territory’s record of successfully facilitating large-scale investment projects across a range of industries including oil and gas, mining and agribusiness. Examples of gas sector developments include the INPEX-operated Ichthys LNG Facility, the ConocoPhillips-operated Darwin LNG Facility, Jemena’s Northern Gas Pipeline and the Tanami Gas Pipeline.
    • Darwin’s role as a strategically located LNG hub supplying Asian markets. The Territory is strategically positioned to secure gas from existing offshore gas reserves in the Timor Sea or from future onshore gas developments. 

    The sessions will be held this week in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. They are being held in cooperation with the AI Group, Manufacturing Australia, and Chemistry Australia.

     Quotes from the Minister for Trade and Major Projects, Michael Gunner

    “Continuing to sell the Northern Territory as an attractive investment destination is a priority of the Territory Labor Government.

    “The oil and gas industry plays an important role in growing our economy and creating jobs through further onshore and offshore investment.

    “Team NT’s sessions are an important element of showcasing what the Territory has to offer and will help maximise opportunities for investment and job creation.”

     Media contact: Cameron Angus 0404 021 192.


  • 16 May 2019 9:46 AM | Sonia Harvey (Administrator)
    Stronger Protections for Surface and Groundwater 

    Parliament this week passed amendments to the Water Act 1992 that fulfil several key recommendations (7.6, 7.8(a), 7.9 and 7.17) of the Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing in the Northern Territory (the Inquiry).

    This means:
    • The disposal of hydraulic fracturing waste to surface water and aquifers is prohibited (s17A);
    • The use of surface waters for petroleum activities is prohibited (s45A); and
    • Any proposed groundwater extraction for hydraulic fracturing within 1km of an existing bore will be required to have the written agreement of the bore owner or be supported by a detailed hydrogeological investigation to the satisfaction of the Controller of Water Resources which demonstrates there will not be adverse impact on the existing bore (s60A)

    Passage of the Water Amendment Bill 2019 through Parliament removed any discretion the Controller of Water Resources previously had in relation to implementing these recommendations of the Inquiry Report.

    This ensures future decision makers are held to the same high standards of water resource protection.

    The Bill also eliminates the potential for legal challenges and future weakening of the required protections, and provides certainty to industry regarding water related requirements and to the community that these high standards of protection will continue to be applied into the future.

    To read the latest from the NTG Newsroom, please visit NTG Newsroom

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


  • 09 May 2019 10:26 AM | Sonia Harvey (Administrator)

    THE Northern Territory Michael Gunner-led Labor government has released its 2019 Budget reaffirming the Top End’s commitment to the oil and gas sector.

    The government has established a five-point plan to develop the gas industry in the Territory and allocated $820,000 in the budget to re-establish the NT Gas Task Force to implement its plan.

    Under the plan the government hopes to "propel" the Territory into a world class hub for gas production and manufacturing by 2030 by expanding Darwin's LNG export hub, growing gas supply and establishing a manufacturing industry.

    The plan also outlines ambitions that include growing research and training capacity and establishing further pathways to contribute to national energy security across the east coast.

    Up to $5 million per year will be available to the task force and industry to pursue gas projects.

    A further $1.48 million has been earmarked to implement the recommendations of the Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing in the NT which will include coordination and advice on petroleum environmental management matters.

    There is also $1 million for strategic studies, including for gas developments in the Beetaloo Sub-basin, Darwin Harbour and Middle Arm.

    The government also plans to spend $6.5 million to continue to deliver the four-year $26 million Resourcing the Territory Program in an effort to stimulate further exploration and encourage investment.

    Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association external affairs director Matthew Doman said the oil and gas industry continued to play a "crucial role in revitalising the economy."

    "The industry remains committed to working with the Territory government and local businesses to maximise opportunities for employment," Doman said.

    Major projects in both the private sector and government facilitated projects took centre stage in this year's budget papers with the government noting that some of the world's largest resource projects are located in the Northern Territory, including the $37 billion Inpex-led Ichthys LNG project.

    Handing down the budget in parliament yesterday, NT treasurer Nicole Manison told the parliament there were many "exciting opportunities for onshore gas exploration and development."

    "[The] government has plans for the Territory to become a new downstream gas processing industry and manufacturing hub, attracting billions of dollars in international investment and creating thousands of local jobs across the Territory," Manison said.

    "In the Beetaloo Basin alone, there is an estimated 500 trillion cubic feet of gas in one shale formation - enough to power the nation for 400 years."

    Source: Energy News Bulletin

    Read more here 

  • 17 Apr 2019 4:17 PM | Sonia Harvey (Administrator)

    SANTOS has said this morning the Corvus-2 appraisal well offshore Western Australia in the Carnarvon Basin has discovered a significant gas resource, intersecting a gross interval of 638 metres, making it one of the largest ever columns ever discovered across the North West Shelf.

    It was drilled to almost 4000 metres in water depths of 63m.  

    Wireline logging has confirmed 245m of net hydrocarbon pay across the target reservoirs in the North Rankin and Mungaroo formations, between 3,360-3,998m.  

    "Corvus-2 has delivered a fantastic result and has opened up a number of additional exploration opportunities in the region," managing director Kevin Gallagher said.  

    "It is particularly exciting to have realised a higher liquids content and significantly bigger resource volume than we expected." 

    The well also encountered higher permeability zones than in Corvus-1 from initial pressure sampling which indicates a "significantly higher" condensate to gas ratio of some 10 barrels per million cubic feet, and CO2 content of 7%.  

    It is three kilometres southwest of Corvus-1, drilled almost 20 years ago, 28km from the Reindeer platform that sends gas to the Devil Creek domestic gas plant in Karratha, and 62km from the Varanus Island tie in point, all of which Santos owns outright since its takeover of Quadrant Energy last year.  

    Gallagher suggested Corvus-2 could be tied back to either facility and could increase their utilisation and provide backfill and extend the plateau "well into the 2030s".  

    The Noble Tom Prosser drilled the well, which will be plugged and abandoned once logging operations are complete. 

    Read more here

    Source: Energy News Bulletin

  • 17 Apr 2019 4:12 PM | Sonia Harvey (Administrator)

    SHELL and ConocoPhillips have both announced the completion of the sale of their shares of the Greater Sunrise gas field to Timor-Leste for a combined US$650 million.  Shell said late yesterday the sale of its 26.5% share to three wholly-owned nominees of Timor Gap, the national oil company for $300 million had completed. 

    "We understand the importance of this resource to the Timor-Leste nation and respect the Government's determination to pursue an alternative path to development through an onshore facility," Shell chair Zoe Yujnovich said.  

    ConocoPhillips made the announcement Monday on selling its 30% share for US$350 million  

    "ConocoPhillips recognizes the importance of the Greater Sunrise Fields to the nation of Timor-Leste, and this sale gives them a significant working interest in this important development," executive vice president and chief operating officer Matt Fox said.  

    First ConocoPhillips and then Shell moved out of the project late last year, announcing the sale of the assets to the small nation which used its $17 billion sovereign wealth fund to pay for the transactions.  

    This gave it a 56% share of the field, which Woodside (33.5%) still operates. Osaka Gas has the remaining 10% share.  

    Woodside did suggest the original contract gave it veto power and it could possibly block the sale if it chose.  

    Timor-Leste has long said onshore development of the fields via an LNG plant is "non-negotiable", underlining it again in March when the ambassador to Australia and head of the petroleum and mines body spoke at the Australasian Oil & Gas conference in Perth.  

    Petroleum and minerals authority president Gualdino do Carmo da Silva told Energy News then "for us it's non negotiable". 

    Read more here

    Source: Energy News Bulletin

  • 12 Apr 2019 10:56 AM | Sonia Harvey (Administrator)

    The first Environment Management Plan (EMP) for exploration drilling of onshore shale gas in the Northern Territory has been accepted for assessment by the Minister for Environment and Natural Resources.

    The EMP has been submitted by Santos and covers two proposed wells in the Beetaloo Sub-basin.

    The EMP is an activity specific plan that must identify all environmental impacts, and demonstrate that the impacts and risks associated with the activity are reduced to a level that is as low as reasonably practicable. The EMP must also show how appropriate environmental management practices will be implemented.

    The Minister will consider the EMP and will only approve the activity if satisfied that the objectives and approval criteria of the Petroleum (Environment) Regulations 2016 have been met. 

    The proposed Santos drilling program opened for 
    public comment today and will remain open for the full 28 day consultation period. All submissions will be shared with Santos and published online.

    Comments will be considered by the Minister in order to make a fully informed decision as to whether or not to approve the EMP.

    If an EMP is approved, it will be published on the Department of Environment and Natural Resources website, including a statement of reasons outlining why the decision was made.

    To read the latest from the NTG Newsroom, please visit 
    NTG Newsroom

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

  • 11 Apr 2019 3:15 PM | Sonia Harvey (Administrator)

    THE construction phase of the Northern Territory Solar Energy Transformation Program has now finished, replacing diesel and fossil fuel generators across 25 sites in regional parts of the territory. 

    The rollout cost A$59 million and was co-funded by the Territory government and Australian Renewable Energy Agency.  

    All 25 of the projects were engineered and constructed by Territory Power and Water Corporation.  

    The project integrates 10MW solar generation facilities with existing diesel power stations without compromising power quality.  

    The program included a unique project at Nauiyu (Daly River) that combined a 1MW solar array with a 2MWh battery, allowing for 100% of solar energy use during the day with diesel engines operating at night. 

    The NT government said the primary goal of the program was to reduce diesel use by 15% in targeted communities, which adds up to 94 million litres of diesel savings over the 25-year life of the program.  

    "This is a fantastic achievement for all involved in completing this ambitious project to deliver the largest rollout of renewable energy to remote, off grid communities in the Northern Territory," ARENA CEO Darren Miller said. 

    "By installing solar power systems across these 25 communities, this project will help these communities to reduce their reliance on diesel. Now integrated, these communities can increase their uptake of renewables and have the option to add batteries to store their solar energy in the future." 

    Source: Energy News Bulletin

    Read more here.

  • 11 Apr 2019 10:56 AM | Sonia Harvey (Administrator)

    Office of the Minister Eva Lawler

    The Territory Labor Government has moved one step closer to introducing its new environment protection legislation following extensive community consultation.

    The consultation resulted in 35 stakeholder groups interviewed, 33 written submissions and 178 form letters.

    Several amendments to the draft legislation will be made as a result of the consultation process to ensure the legislation retains its principle focus on mitigating the environmental impacts of development while protecting the environment.

    The Environment Protection Bill is due to be introduced to Parliament in May and represents the first stage of environmental regulatory reforms promised by the Territory Labor Government.

    Establishing a new environment protection legislative framework aims to build community trust, facilitate investor certainty and deliver better environmental outcomes.

    The new Bill:

    • replaces the current Environmental Assessment Act;
    • provides for a new environmental impact assessment system;
    • provides the introduction of a single environmental approval issued by the Environment Minister;
    • will be supported by new regulations which provide for different levels of assessment; and
    • enables prescribed timeframes for each decision in the environmental impact assessment system.

    A comprehensive response to the submissions received can be viewed at https://denr.nt.gov.au/environment-information/environmental-regulatory-reform/submissions-draft-environment-protection-bill-and-regulations together with the Report and individual submissions.

    Quotes from the Minister for Environment and Natural Resources, Eva Lawler:

    “The Territory’s natural environment is one of our best assets and a huge part of what makes living here so special - Protecting the environment creates jobs, and good environmental policy is smart economic policy.

    “The Territory’s current environment protection legislation is confusing and outdated – that is why the Territory Labor Government will introduce a new Environmental Protection Bill that will support industry and protect the environment.

    “The implementation of this legislation is another solid example of our Government delivering on our promises to protect the environment and create jobs.

    “The Territory Labor Government has balanced the views of stakeholders to construct an environmental regulatory framework that provides for public participation and greater transparency, certainty and timeliness of decisions.”


    Media Contact: Ellie Clancy 0436 646 689


  • 11 Apr 2019 10:53 AM | Sonia Harvey (Administrator)

    Office of Minister Eva Lawler

    The first Environment Management Plan (EMP) for onshore shale gas exploration drilling since the Territory Labor Government lifted the moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in the Northern Territory has been accepted for assessment.

    The Santos QNT Ltd (Santos) McArthur Basin EP 161 Drilling Program 2019 (EMP) has been published at https://denr.nt.gov.au/environment-information/onshore-gas-in-the-northern-territory/environment-management-plan with the 28 day consultation period open from tomorrow.

    The EMP is an activity specific plan that must show all environmental impacts and risks have been considered and appropriate environmental management practices implemented.

    The Territory Labor Government is restoring trust and certainty through the implementation of a robust, clear and transparent set of rules and guidelines around how the environment must be protected in accordance with all 135 recommendations of the Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing.

    The Petroleum (Environment) Regulations require the Minister for Environment and Natural Resources to publish an EMP for public comment, where the activity involves drilling of a petroleum well or hydraulic fracturing.

    Interested parties may submit written comments on the EMP during the consultation period and the Minister will consider these comments in deciding whether to approve an EMP.

    All EMP decisions will be published on the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) website, including a statement of reasons outlining why the decision was made.

    Quotes from the Minister for Environment and Natural Resources, Eva Lawler:

    “This Government is making it easier to invest in the Territory as these reforms will ensure our unique environment and the jobs that rely on it are protected, while also providing further opportunities for investment and new jobs for the Territory - protecting the environment creates jobs, and good environmental policy is smart economic policy.

    “I thank Santos for submitting its EMP and encourage the community to have a look at it and provide their comments so I can make a fully informed decision.

    “Providing the community with a legislative right to have their say on the approval of an EMP relating to drilling or fracking will help restore trust and transparency - a process that did not exist under the previous CLP government.”


    Media Contact: Ellie Clancy 0436 646 689


  • 09 Apr 2019 11:02 AM | Sonia Harvey (Administrator)

    Office Minister Paul Kirby

    The Territory Labor Government is outlining a vision for the NT to become a globally-significant producing, processing and manufacturing centre for critical minerals.

    Released today, the Territory Critical Minerals Plan is designed to further grow the industry, create jobs and stimulate the economy.

    The Territory Critical Minerals Plan helps position the Territory as a strategically significant jurisdiction in critical minerals important to the high technology, battery and defence sectors, and seeks to:

    • Accelerate exploration for critical minerals

    • Support critical minerals projects to commence production

    • Grow refining, processing and manufacturing of critical minerals in the Territory

      There are potential critical minerals projects progressing in the Territory including TNG Limited’s Mount Peake Project, KGL Resources Limited’s Jervois Project, Arafura Resources Limited’s Nolan Project and Core Lithium Ltd’s Finniss Lithium Project. The Territory Critical Minerals Plan helps support these projects.

      A more comprehensive Territory Minerals Industry Development Strategy is under development by the Departments of Trade, Business and Innovation and Primary Industry and Resources with a view to being released by the end of 2019.

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

      “The Territory is attracting international investment interest with strong reserves in critical minerals including copper, lithium, vanadium, rare earths, tungsten and cobalt, and with established logistics capability for exporting critical minerals to international markets.

      “The Territory Labor Government supports the development of new critical minerals projects. Establishing new mines creates local jobs for Territorians.

      “The Territory Critical Minerals Plan will help develop the Territory’s strategic mineral reserves and will showcase the Territory’s competitive advantages to potential investors, other jurisdictions and the Australian Government.”

      Media Contact: Carl Pfeiffer 0417 910 720


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